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Germany – VW to cut temporary jobs

07 August 2012

The European auto industry is in trouble with more and more car manufacturers cutting jobs, often at the cost of temporary workers. Now the German carmaker VW, the world’s sixth largest employer by headcount, has announced a slowdown in hiring activity which will mainly come down to how many temporary posts the firm will offer in the future.

In an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt, VW’s HR director Horst Neumann said this week that job growth in Germany, the EU’s strongest economy, will be slowed down. “We are experiencing a consolidation and only expect a slight increase [in headcount],” he said.

Although he did not imply that this will affect permanent employees, he made it clear that those on temporary contractors, including apprentices, will be impacted by the company’s lower recruitment activity. “It will rather be about how may agency workers we will recruit and how may apprenticeships we can offer worldwide.”

In Germany, the company has created over 25,000 jobs organically since 2009, Mr Neumann said, across the globe this figure stands at 70,000. “This will not continue so steeply [in the future],” he added. In total, VW employs around 520,000 people across the globe.

He said that business is doing “well” but in Europe the picture is a different one. “We must not believe that we have made it, that VW was rich and invincible,” he warned.

The European auto industry heavily relies on temporary workers, but appears to be losing ground as the debt crisis continues to haunt the sector and thousands of temporary staff are expected to lose their jobs. Audi recently told Staffing Industry Analysts that it will cut hundreds of temporary jobs in Germany, after Fiat recently announced a layoff of agency workers.

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