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Airbus recruitment campaign plans 3,500 new hires in France

Once again this year, Airbus confirms its position as a leader in the aeronautics industry, and continues a vast worldwide recruitment campaign. The European aircraft manufacturer has already hired some 13,000 people by 2022, including replacements for departures as well as new positions. But the return of aircraft orders and upcoming projects are prompting the group to repeat the operation. The Airbus program involves some 3,500 new hires in France in 2023, who will also benefit from the historic overhaul of company agreements.
Published on May 23rd, 2023

Growing production and projects prompt Airbus to hire new staff

To maintain its position as world leader and continue to deliver aircraft at a pace that defies that of rival Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer is counting on this recruitment campaign to speed up production.

During the health crisis, single-aisle production stagnated at around 40 aircraft per month. But thanks to the recovery and the return of orders, Airbus was able to deliver 661 aircraft in 2022, despite the unfavorable context of the energy crisis and tensions in raw materials supply chains.

To reach its ambitious target of 65 aircraft per month, i.e. an average of 780 deliveries by 2024, the Group announced at the start of 2023 its intention to recruit 13,000 people worldwide, including 7,000 net new jobs.

With 48,000 employees by the end of 2022, Airbus' French branch will expand to welcome 3,500 new employees. In France, 2,300 new hires will be in commercial aircraft, 700 in helicopters and 500 in defense and space.

The recruitment drive is not just about ramping up production. Airbus is also keen to make a commitment to green aircraft, notably with the project to fly a hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft. The integration of new professions linked to the decarbonization of air transport or specialized in the digital environment and artificial intelligence is essential for the aircraft manufacturer.

The "Reload" project: a significant overhaul of social agreements

In addition, this recruitment phase is accompanied by a significant overhaul of 174 company agreements in force since the early 1970s. The French director of Airbus' human resources department talks about this project, known as "Reload": "We negotiated for more than 19 months on the themes of social protection, working hours, vacations and remuneration".

These new texts, signed with three of the four representative trade unions (FO, CFE-CGC and CFTC), will come into force on January 1, 2024, the same date as the new collective bargaining agreement for the metallurgy sector.

The Reload project aims to standardize working conditions and salaries for all Airbus France employees, regardless of the division in which they work (Commercial Aircraft, Helicopters, Defense and Space).

This includes an improvement to the health and welfare agreement. But Airbus employees will also be able to claim five extra days for the arrival of a child, or "twelve days to support employees who are caregivers", explains Mikaël Butterbach.

In addition, working hours will be annualized. Paid notice of retirement will be increased from two to three months.