Changi Airport starts major recruitment drive to fill 6,600 job vacancies

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SINGAPORE - Changi Airport is looking to hire more than 6,600 workers, as it embarks on one of its biggest recruitment drives to take full advantage of a fierce rebound in air travel.

Changi Airport Group (CAG) said in its publication Changi Journeys on Tuesday night (May 17) that people may be hired on the spot at the One Aviation Careers Fair to take place at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre next Friday and Saturday.

More than 20 aviation companies will be conducting on-site interviews.

Hiring will be focused on filling frontline passenger service positions, as well as newly created roles in innovation and technology. Behind-the-scene workers such as ground handlers will also be in high demand, with both Sats and Dnata looking for more hands.

There are also job vacancies in the quality assurance team, which checks for food contaminant at the microbial level, and for airport emergency service and cyber security officers.

"At this growth rate, Changi is expected to recover more than half of its pre-Covid-19 passenger volume in 2022," CAG said.

"A positive vibe and energy are returning to Changi. More flights and passengers mean more airport staff are needed to support this growth.

The air transport sector lost about a quarter to a third of its airport workers during the pandemic.

With air travel quickly returning to pre-Covid-19 levels - by 2023, according to estimates by the International Air Transport Association - CAG is making sure to increase its capacity in tandem, so that manpower bottlenecks do not become a limiting factor in Changi's ambition to restore its air hub status.

Already, CAG has had to reschedule "a very small number of flights" to spread them apart during high peak periods.

Observers also said CAG is approving flights more cautiously, despite airlines now clambering to once more use the slots they had vacated in the last two years.

While filling the 6,600 job vacancies will not bring aviation employment levels back to 2019 levels, it is the industry's first such drive in two years.

CAG said its airport partners are offering competitive salaries, good incentives and better career prospects.

Singapore Airlines has said it will gradually restore its pilots' basic salaries to pre-Covid-19 levels by January next year.

Dr David Leong, managing director of PeopleWorldwide Consulting, a HR search and advisory firm, said Changi Airport’s recruitment drive is likely to be one of the largest hiring campaigns since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and should attract an equally large response.

 “Changi needs to bolster its workforce early to cope with the expected surge in air traffic and arrivals to Singapore,” Dr Leong said.

Asked whether the airport will face competition from other manpower-starved sectors such as retail and food and beverage, he said Changi is likely to come out on top.

“Working at Changi carries a certain premium, and if the hiring campaign is run well, they are likely to attract those from F&B, retail and hospitality to jump over,” he added.

However, Dr Leong said it may be a while before the airport is back to being a well-oiled operation. “This needs training or retraining and the setting of new service standards to ensure service excellence. Such processes take time.”

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