The search for new staff for Schiphol is still difficult

A few hours in line for security, long wait for your suitcase. Your vacation starts and ends not always pleasantly. Schiphol and the companies that work there are therefore looking for new employees and they even held a job fair in early June.

Despite the tight labor market, it has already yielded a few things, says Schiphol rapporteur Jeanette Hamster.

Labor market dividend: 200 people employed

For example, about 900 interested people who were in the labor market have already employed about 200 for a job as a cleaning assistant, earth stewardess, security guard, baggage handler or shop assistant.

In addition, companies are also trying to attract new employees in other ways. In total, for example, 200 guards have already been employed (partly via the labor market) at the five companies that provide security at Schiphol. Some have yet to complete their education, but they must all work by August 1, the airport expects.

Focus on safety and luggage handling

There is a shortage of staff in many areas, but security guards and baggage handlers are extra important. If there is a shortage there, it could lead to a snowball effect, spokesman Hamster said.

If passengers miss their aircraft through the safety lines, their bags must be removed from the aircraft for safety reasons. This in turn creates extra pressure on luggage handling and additional flight delays.

Many more vacancies

The 200 new security guards is a nice number, but in the spring there were still more than 500 vacancies, so the search continues. And the same goes for other features.

Hamster could not say how many vacancies in total were still vacant because the vacancies are distributed among the ten companies working at the airport. “If you look at the total number of employees at Schiphol before the corona and now, you still talk about a difference of several thousand,” Hamster says. “Per occupation one hundred here, one hundred there.”

FNV: Major concerns among staff

Despite the pay rise and further measures, the current airport staff have little confidence in it. The vast majority of 85 percent of employees expect that it will not be possible to work safely and responsibly this summer vacation. It appears from a poll conducted by the trade union FNV among 664 employees, in which ground personnel and security personnel mainly participated.

They see the workload as the biggest bottleneck, followed by high sickness absence, delayed flights and long queues for passengers. Other bottlenecks are inadequately trained staff and improperly handled luggage.

Particularly concerned are employees who have contact with passengers. “They work in an unprecedented stressful and often insecure, aggressive, useless situation as frontline personnel,” a KLM employee describes to the union. “We have to fix everything and we get this on our roof every day.”

Despite the labor market, Aviapartner is still looking for staff. “We have hired 20 people in various positions, such as ground stewardess, baggage handler and ramp operator,” said De Potter, HR director at the company, which performs baggage handling and aircraft cleaning for airlines. “We are not there yet.”

Earn more elsewhere

Aviapartner now has the greatest need for platform and luggage employees. It involves dozens of people, he says. The exact number is hard to say, he says. “Because if ten students go on holiday tomorrow, or if they can earn five euros more somewhere else, then they go there, so you need extra staff again.”

Marco de Jong also leads. He is a co-owner of WerkCentrale Nederland (WCN), a recruitment and selection and staffing company. The labor market was a success.

He invited about 50 people for a further discussion. 25 of them actually came by, and about ten of them found jobs through us, according to De Jong.

These are baggage, warehousing and warehousing staff, but also one for the administration and one customs officer.

Choose from several jobs

But De Jong immediately points to a problem: Many interested people can choose between different jobs, so they do not always show up for an interview. “Only a third,” De Potter agrees. “Some have five conversations, they look at where to start first.”

Another disadvantage for Schiphol is that everyone working behind customs requires a Declaration of No Objection (VGB), even if one e.g. clean airplanes.

The examination that the AIVD does for this may take a few weeks, depending on your situation. But you do not get paid for that time. “If people can start somewhere else faster, then you lose it unless people really choose Schiphol,” says De Jong.

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