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Sustainable employment

The solid economic development of the Mainport is contingent on, and the result of sustainable employment. We create a climate in which people are given the opportunity to develop their full potential. There are around 65,000 Schiphol workers. They are employees of the approximately 500 companies operating at Schiphol and of our own organisation.

Schiphol workers

We promote intersectoral mobility through Schiphol Aviation College [Luchtvaart College Schiphol], formerly Schiphol College. The objective is to facilitate job rotation among the employees of businesses located on the airport premises. Network meetings moreover contribute to intercompany employee mobility. We find jobs for individuals who are at a disadvantage on the labour market, in collaboration with the Department for Work and Income (DWI) and Schiphol Aviation College. The latter is also responsible for ensuring a coordinated internship policy at the airport.

Good relations with external parties also contribute to sustainable employment. We work in accordance with the Responsible Market Conduct Commission Code. Schiphol jointly initiated and co-signed the Code in which professionalism, quality and etiquette in the sector is defined as 'responsible market conduct'. Collaboration among contractors, employers, employees and intermediaries is key.

We help fight youth unemployment in conjunction with the Aviation Sector Fund [Sectorfonds Luchtvaart]. The fund's objective is to promote schooling, employability and employment mobility for both current and future aviation sector employees.

KLM partner in Schiphol Aviation College

KLM became a partner of Schiphol Aviation College on 7 October 2013, joining Schiphol Group and the Regional Training Centre (ROC) Amsterdam. This has given the College more resources and opportunities to develop and organise working and learning programmes for the aviation sector. Schiphol Aviation College combines the strengths of aviation-related businesses, vocational training and government bodies in the region and strengthens the jobs market at Schiphol.

The number of groups that pursued one of the 90 training programmes offered rose to 192 in 2013. In 2012, 59 groups pursued 118 training programmes. The number of groups has increased thanks in part to a sustainable employment budget that was made available to Schiphol Nederland B.V. employees effective 2013. Employees can spend the budget on the training programmes offered.

Schiphol Aviation College provides senior secondary vocational (mbo) study programmes designed specifically for airport-related jobs, with a focus on security and air cargo logistics. In 2013, 528 mbo participants commenced a study programme. This number is lower than in 2012 (795), when the enrolment figure was exceptionally high. The number of student trainees who were granted internships rose to 134 in 2013 (2012: 75). The rise is due to the greater emphasis placed on the importance of student trainees. Furthermore 35 mbo students made use of a new opportunity to take up an unpaid internship to gain work experience in the terminal.

Apprenticeships are intended for people who have not completed their education or are out of work. Working and learning programmes offer these people better opportunities on the labour market. The relevant KPI is measured on the basis of the study success rate. In 2013, 80% of examination candidates pursuing a working and learning programme obtained their diploma (2012: 87.5%).

Our own employees

We need engaged and motivated employees who want to contribute to the success of Schiphol Group. Such employees are vital if we are to achieve our strategic ambitions. Schiphol is a loyal employer which invests in its staff and offers them continuous personal development opportunities. This is reflected, for example, in the high level of employee engagement and in the relatively sharp fall in absenteeism, which was achieved in part by the new style of working. We are proud of the official recognition for our policy in the form of the 2013 Randstad Award for the most attractive employer in the Netherlands.

In 2013 we continued to implement the Multi-Year Safe and Sustainable Employability Plan for 2012-2014. Sustainable employability encompasses both mobility and vitality and centres on the ability to deliver competent and motivated performance, both now and in the future. Our philosophy is that working and learning are inextricably linked. We raised awareness of sustainable employability in 2013 in several ways, including presentations and workshops.

Schiphol promotes internal mobility. We firmly believe that a change of job or workplace raises workforce productivity. With 15% mobility we exceeded our objective for 2013 (12.5%). Promoting internal mobility was incorporated in the collective labour agreement in 2013. Employees have a personal budget which they may utilise for their own personal development or vitality.

We commenced strategic personnel planning up to 2020, as this will help us anticipate the capacity and quality of the workforce we require in the future. This applies to both our current and future employees.

(numbers by location)






Schiphol Group (2,093)






Schiphol (1,904)






Rotterdam (131)






Eindhoven (42)






Lelystad (16)







Schiphol Group seeks to be a diverse organisation where all employees feel at home, regardless of their cultural background or sex. We have to date focused on the number of women in leadership positions, with a target of 30% women in the top of the organisation at the end of 2014. We have already achieved our target with the percentage rising to 31% at the end of 2013.

In 2013 we broadened our policy to include Lesbians, Gays, Transgenders and Bisexuals (LGTB), cultural identity and people with a disability, with the main emphasis on creating awareness. The Lucille Werner Foundation (formerly CAP 100) dedicates its efforts to reducing the gap between people with a disability and the business community. The organisation supports Schiphol by recommending talents with a disability. We hired four such people this year, the same number as in 2012.

Talent and leadership development

In 2013 we placed particular emphasis on mobility, employability and performance management. Over 50% of Schiphol Nederland B.V.'s managers (educated at higher professional education level or higher) followed a training programme on the Talent and Leadership curriculum. The intensive programme, which ties in with the renewed performance management policy implemented in 2012, covered situational and coaching leadership, focusing on performance agreements between managers and their staff. The aim is to engage in a more active dialogue and to create a more transparent and more effective assessment procedure. Particular attention is paid to making clear performance agreements, talking to staff about sustainable employability and conducting effective appraisal interviews.

We also promote employee development through international partnerships. In 2013 an aviation-oriented strategic training programme was organised in which employees from Schiphol Group, Aéroports de Paris and Incheon International Airport took part. This will lead not only to strengthening our international network but also to a rich exchange of knowledge and expertise. We continued to exchange and second personnel to regional and international airports.

Employees in figures

At the end of 2013 Schiphol Group employed 2,093 people (2012: 2,131), which is equivalent to 2,045 FTEs. The number of FTEs fell slightly compared with 2012 (2,080 FTEs). The number of temporary seasonal workers continued to decline in 2013. Just as in 2011, we conducted an employee engagement survey, the Schiphol Monitor, among all employees in 2013. The results show that our employees are very satisfied with the company. Employee engagement again received a high score of 7.9 (2011: 7.9). The absenteeism rate at Schiphol Nederland B.V. declined further to 3.1% (2012: 3.7%). This means absenteeism is now lower than the Verbaan standard of 3.4%.

Safe employability

Safe employability means that employees and third parties understand the importance of occupational health and safety. Aside from this, it is our duty to ensure we provide a safe environment for airport passengers and visitors. In the reporting year we proceeded to work on several action points highlighted in the Multi-Year Safe and Sustainable Employability Plan for 2012-2014, and a number of action points have since been implemented.

A tragic accident involving a baggage tractor and a pedestrian occurred on airside in 2013. The pedestrian, who worked for a ground handler, died as a result of the injuries sustained. An investigation has meanwhile been carried out into crossings that pose the greatest risk to pedestrians. These locations will be given priority when rolling out the policy for pedestrians formulated in 2013.

To reduce exposure to diesel engine emissions, the decision was taken to allow only EURO 4 engines or above in the storage and transshipment areas in the terminal. The dynamic suction of exhaust directly from vehicle exhaust pipes is being trialled at the airport fire stations.

In April we met with the sector parties and the Social Affairs and Employment Inspectorate (ISZW) to highlight the collaboration and results achieved in improving working conditions in the baggage areas. The joint approach adopted by Schiphol and the sector parties was praised, and held out as an example for Transport and Logistics Nederland, an employers' organisation.

Measuring safety

To measure safety levels, methods have been established for measuring safety at work on airside, in the terminal and for the work carried out by contractors. The measurement methods are similar to those of Lost Time Injury Frequency (LTIF) for work-related accidents. The procedure for reporting accidents and unsafe situations, by both internal and external parties, is now more firmly embedded. In addition to the above an app was developed in 2013 which employees can use to report unsafe situations digitally. The app will become available in 2014.

Schiphol uses LTIF when registering work-related accidents that result in absenteeism. It enables us to see how we perform compared with other businesses within or outside the sector, and to monitor the situation relative to the preceding years. In 2013 Schiphol Nederland B.V. (excluding the fire service) recorded an LTIF of 0 (2012: 1.6). The fire service recorded a result of 14.2 (2012: 44.4), which is attributable to three sports injuries suffered by fire service personnel while working.

Major construction projects involve risks. The safety of all airport users and employees is a number one priority for Schiphol. In 2013 we launched a special programme to address this issue, 'Improving safety for construction and maintenance work'. Schiphol will make every effort to minimise all safety risks and to ensure that all people are fully protected, on the basis of the twelve golden safety rules. During construction work the number of staff on-site from other (construction) companies is higher than usual, and we also need to make them aware of the safety risks at the airport.

A compulsory Contractor Health, Safety and Environment Checklist (VCA) course was developed for all Schiphol project leaders and clients, incorporating Schiphol-specific information. Our goal is to ensure that all contractors are VCA-certified by 1 January 2015. The Schiphol Project Office will furthermore structure its organisation in line with the VCO (Client Health, Safety and Environment Checklist).