“Over the past two and a half years we have recruited around 200 people, and roughly 60% were to fulfil new positions. We still plan to recruit another 20 employees until the end of this year, notably R&D engineers, technicians, product managers and setter operators,” says Frédéric Fraikin, Group Human Resources Manager at Rotarex, a world-leading producer of high precision gas control products and systems headquartered in Luxembourg. This is quite a considerable expansion of the workforce which currently counts 720 full-time equivalents.
Rotarex is just one of many Luxembourg-based industrial companies recruiting new staff in order to pursue their development strategies. Hard material products manufacturer Ceratizit is recruiting 15-20 people per month, including PhDs, skilled manual workers and maintenance and production engineers. Another example is DuPont de Nemours, whose recently announced €340 million investment in a new production line for the manufacture of Tyvek® non-woven materials at its facility in Luxembourg will create 120 posts for highly qualified staff. Premium textile reinforcements manufacturer Glanzstoff, which employs a staff of 145, is recruiting maintenance and engineering staff to implement its Industry 4.0 strategy.
Capitalising on industry trends
The Luxembourg Materials & Manufacturing Cluster brings together around 80 industrial companies, ranging from start-ups to major international groups. “The recruitments and needs for skills among our members are closely linked to industrial megatrends, such as digitalisation and the Industry 4.0 process of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies,” says Cluster President Georges Thielen, Manager Governmental Relations and R&D Partnerships at Goodyear Innovation Center Luxembourg.
This development results in diversified needs for skills. “We obviously need highly educated staff – PhDs, masters and so on – but skilled technicians and bachelors are also essential,” explains Mr Thielen. “Goodyear is recruiting around 70 people for its new Industry 4.0 plant in Dudelange in southern Luxembourg, and there we mainly need skilled workers who were trained in technical high schools.”
A particularity of the Luxembourg labour market is its strongly international character: almost two thirds of the workforce are foreign citizens and it is natural for industrial employers to extend their searches for the right staff to the neighbouring countries of France, Germany and Belgium. They are also happy to welcome employees from further afield.
“The geographical extent of our recruitments is rapidly increasing,” confirms Mr Thielen and mentions as an example the on-going hiring of PhDs and postdocs for Goodyear’s R&D initiative on smart and sustainable mobility carried out jointly with the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). “50% of the staff hired for this project are from EU countries, and the other 50% mainly from China and India as well as Latin America.”
Attractive career opportunities
Not only the industrial giants are expanding. Start-up company Molecular Plasma Group (MPG) was started in Luxembourg two years ago and has already grown from two to six employees with a seventh person set to start in October this year. “We produce innovative machinery and develop customised solutions based on our plasma technology, so we need experienced high-level scientific and technical staff,” explains CEO Regis Heyberger. “Recruiting this type of profiles can be challenging for a start-up: we can’t offer the salary packages or the security of well-established major companies. On the other hand, we offer a unique opportunity to work with a technology that is completely new on the market and interact with very interesting clients such as Airbus.”
A French national, Mr Heyberger started his first Luxembourg-based job in 2010 as an R&D director at a large company. After a spell of working in other countries, he came back again when MPG was set up with the support of Luxembourg investors. “The Luxembourg job market is very interesting,” he says. “There are a lot of attractive job opportunities in well-established industrial companies that offer healthy working conditions.” Having worked in a number of countries including the US, Japan, Germany, Belgium and Italy, he also underlines that Luxembourg is a great place to live.
“Luxembourg is very dynamic,” agrees Mr Fraikin. “If you come here for one job, have some potential and are able to win the trust of your employer, I think it is considerably easier to grow professionally and move on in your career than in many other countries.”
The excellent choice in job offers is an important argument for many employers who wish to attract staff. “Some decades ago, our recruitment of scientists was sometimes hindered by the lack of an attractive public research sector, but with the strong development of the University of Luxembourg, LIST and other research centres this has been fully overcome,” says Mr Thielen. “This is a very important advantage. If new staff come to Goodyear they know that they have other choices and attractive options beside those offered by their first employer.”
If you are interested in checking out the Luxembourg job market, there are several job sites such as www.monster.lu, www.moovijob.com and www.jobs.lu that advertise jobs in the industrial sector. You can also directly visit the websites of the members of the Luxembourg Materials & Manufacturing Cluster to see what career opportunities they offer.
Luxinnovation contributes to the economic development of Luxembourg by fostering innovation, fuelling international growth and attracting foreign direct investment and is supported by: Ministry of the Economy, Ministry for Higher Education and Research, Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg Chamber of Skilled Crafts and FEDIL – The Voice of Luxembourg’s Industry.