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Netherlands – Randstad founder honoured with gold medal

11 September 2013

The founder of Randstad Holding, Frits Goldschmeding, has received the Gold Medal of the City of Amsterdam. During a private dinner party for his 80th birthday on September 6th, Mr Goldschmeding was presented with the highest accolade that can be awarded by the city.

The mayor of the city of Amsterdam and the alderman for culture both turned up to the birthday celebrations as surprise guests, where they handed the medal over to Mr Goldschmeding.

Often the medal is presented to mayors of Amsterdam once they have completed their term in office; however, under certain circumstances it can be presented to people who are considered to have made exceptional contributions to the capital of the Netherlands.

Mr Goldschmeding received the award as a result of his continued contribution to employment in Amsterdam, his longstanding financial support to museums and culture in the city, and for his initiative to build the Clipper Stad Amsterdam.

The Clipper Stad Amsterdam was constructed through an initiative led by Mr Goldschmeding and the city of Amsterdam. It is a nineteenth century-style ship that was built as a reminder of the seafaring history of the Netherlands, when Dutch tradesmen operated agile boats known as clippers. The Clipper Stad was intended to be an opportunity for the hospitality sector in the Netherlands, allowing people to book a cruise aboard the ship.

More than that, Mr Goldschmeding, who is a big fan of sailing during his free time, hoped to provide a means of tackling youth unemployment within the country. He wanted it to offer job opportunities to young people who were leaving school, giving them the chance to work with master craftsmen and develop skills that would put them in good stead for finding employment in the future.

During the construction of the Clipper Stad, a total of 138 people were given a position aboard the ship. Since the completion of the ship, it has continued to offer work experience opportunities and trainee positions to people wishing to work in the hospitality sector and that want to gain experience in the operation of sailing vessels.

Randstad uses the ship to offer seminars and networking events for its clients and also held Randstad Education's 2012 ‘Good to Know You’ award ceremony on board.

Although now retired, Mr Goldschmeding has remained the vice chairman of the supervisory board at Randstad. He formed the recruitment agency in 1960 and since then it has grown to become one of the largest of its kind around the world. Initially he called his company Uitzendbureau Amstelveen but changed its name to Randstad Holding four years later.

Based initially in the Netherlands, Mr Goldschmeding then expanded Randstad Holding and managed to get 32 branches set up across countries such as the UK, Germany and Belgium by 1970.

In 2008, he merged Randstad with the Dutch group Vedior to make it the second largest temporary job billing agency around the world.

On the Forbes list of billionaires, Mr Goldschmeding ranks at number 423 globally and takes second place for the Netherlands.

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