Through Hugues-Olivier Dumez
A paradigm shift? Barely out of the crisis, the aircraft manufacturer Airbus to find oneself – today more than yesterday – at a ” war talents “, valued Thierry baril. Aeronautics and space giant’s human resources boss refers to consulting firm investigation McKinsey, published in 1997.
In competition with start-ups
The latter had the effect of a electroshock. For some specific skills, the demand from employers is greater than the number of qualified candidates. Power is therefore no longer in the hands of companies.
On the sidelines ofAirbus Summit, an event dedicated to the themes of sustainability and decarbonisation of the aviation sector, which takes place in Toulouse on September 21 and 22, 2021, Thierry Baril returned to this skills shortage in the digital or the cybersecurity, notably. In these areas, Airbus even “competes with start-ups” and the salary is not the only source of motivation.
Among the favorite companies
Among the large French groups, Airbus still remains one of the preferred companies for work. However, the aircraft manufacturer has been under attack for several years because of its impact on the climate. To the point of encouraging young graduates to turn to other more virtuous sectors of activity? Thierry Baril is convinced that aviation “remains a dream For many young people. “This pandemic period has been conducive to bashing. Some took the opportunity to shoot the ambulance ”.
This Airbus executive says he understands the questions: do I want to join an industry that pollutes? But Thierry Baril reminds us that aviation represents (only) 2.5% of emissions worldwide. “At that point, you have to stop the bike, take the car or the electric, eat meat, …”
“It’s up to us to create the opportunities”
Airbus takes these attacks, “a little unfair”, as ” a positive challenge “. This was also the meaning of the Airbus Summit, organized in September in Toulouse, where several announcements were made to gradually decarbonize aviation.
“It is up to us to create the opportunities” to attract these profiles, urges Thierry Baril, citing the mobility in the company, with a wide range of innovative programs developed within the group. The Airbus HRD also said to “put the package” on the training.
Is the crisis behind Airbus?
These profiles have also escaped the vast workforce reduction plan launched in 2020 during the crisis. Especially since they “were not directly impacted by a drop in activity”, underlines Thierry Baril.
Airbus today employs 130,000 people worldwide
As part of the Adaptation Plan, launched by Airbus in 2020, 10,000 people have left the group worldwide. The aeronautics and space account giant now has 130,000 employees, including 45,000 in France.
Thierry Baril, director of human resources, assures him: “there has been no hard dismissal in Europe, thanks to state aid, but also because of the work accomplished by Airbus and the Airbusians. “It is a collective work”.
Airbus is gradually moving towards a return to normalcy. In Toulouse, since the end of the summer, the employees have returned to the site. For 18 months, two thirds of them were teleworking. “Airbus remains an industrial company,” recalls Thierry Baril. “We have thousands of employees who can never take their work tool home”. The head of human resources said to remain “vigilant not to create a divide between the employees”. An experiment on teleworking is in progress until December, leaving the organizer to each team. A collective agreement could be signed in January 2022 at the end of this experiment.
If it is still too early to be able to announce thousands of recruitments, as in the years preceding the crisis, the director of human resources of Airbus is already preparing his budgetary plans for the next three years. Expectations appear optimistic. And this, after having gone through 18 months of lean cows.
Initial recruitments will be necessary, firstly because of the age structure. Although many employees left the company during the crisis, in the context of voluntary (pre) retirement departures, “between 2000 and 3000 people could leave in the next three years”. The number of departures over the same period is even higher in Germany.
In general, Airbus intends to pursue its desire to diversify hiring. The objective was to reach a quarter of recruitments with profiles that are not directly linked to aeronautics. “Tomorrow, I expect to exceed 30%, or even 40%,” announces Thierry Baril.
Regarding the development of the aircraft at hydrogen, “The costing of needs is not finished,” says Thierry Baril. – this should not be very representative in terms of volume, with only “a few hundred stations” at the start.
“Do not dress Paul while undressing Jacques”
Here too, as for digital, competition reigns. “The subject of hydrogen is a hot topic,” he emphasizes. “There are many of us in the market” for a very small number of skills available.
Internally, the group can however rely on its know-how in cryogenics in the space field. “It’s an advantage, we are not starting from scratch. But it is not a question of dressing Paul while undressing Jacques ”.
In the shorter term, the creation of a new assembly line in Toulouse, operations by the end of 2022, should not result in hiring. At least, for the time being. “We still have a lot of people on long-term partial unemployment,” recalls Thierry Baril. Employees will therefore be contracted to meet this new need for activity.
In total, some 500 people will work in this modernized and digitized Final Assembly Line (FAL) for the A320 and A321 which will be installed in the old Lagardère site of the’A380.
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