Our board members in the spotlight: meet José van Dalen

8th July 2024

Since when have you been a member of the Economic Board The Hague and why did you decide to become a member?
I have been a member of the EBTH since April 2020. I was recommended from my network and my motivation comes from my passion for innovation and my desire to have a positive impact on the IT sector in the Haaglanden region. Through my experience as an entrepreneur, with my company QISS IT, I have seen the importance of motivating young talents and creating opportunities, even for those without a traditional IT background. It is my belief that everyone, regardless of their education or background, can make a valuable contribution to the IT sector (or any sector for that matter) if they are given the right guidance and opportunities and thus start seeing for themselves. This drives me to be actively involved in EBTH and contribute to the development of the region.

From what background are you affiliated and what domain do you represent?
From my role as entrepreneur and founder of QISS IT, I am affiliated with the EBTH. My focus is on job creation in the IT sector in the Haaglanden region. At QISS IT, we have created jobs for people without IT training by motivating young talents and showing them that IT can not only be accessible, but also fun. We have developed a unique approach where we train and guide candidates without an IT background to a successful career in IT. This has led not only to more employment opportunities, but also to a more diverse and inclusive workforce in the IT sector. My goal is to spread this approach further and inspire more companies to start similar initiatives. In addition, I am a very practical person; I like to keep things simple, practical and clear, which is sometimes difficult in political The Hague. That’s partly where the name QISS IT comes from: Keep it short & simple.

What would you like to achieve with the board and what are you most proud of?
With the board, I would like to provide more information and support to SMEs, especially on legislation and how to successfully build a business. As an entrepreneur, you are often behind the times when it comes to laws and regulations, and that can be very frustrating. By providing better information and support, we can ensure that entrepreneurs are better informed and can respond faster to changes in legislation. I also want to strengthen the connection between students and SMEs so that we can create a better connection between education and the labour market. I am most proud of the impact we have had with QISS IT on the careers of young professionals and the companies they work for. We showed young professionals that IT is really cool and that with their skills, but without any knowledge in the industry, they can embark on a fantastic career!

What is the biggest opportunity  in The Hague?
The biggest opportunity in The Hague lies in exploiting the synergy between educational institutions and the business community. By working more closely together, we can ensure that students are better prepared for the labour market and vice versa. We forget that we are dealing with a new labour target group and the business community is not prepared for this either! Also, then companies have access to well-trained and motivated young professionals. This can lead to a dynamic and innovative region where talent and businesses flourish. A concrete example is already the Dutch Innovation Park in Zoetermeer, where students, startups and established companies work together on innovative projects. This centre can serve as an incubator for new ideas and a place where knowledge and experience are shared. Through this cooperation, we can strengthen the region’s competitive position and create an attractive business climate for both national and international companies.