NewsEconomicsIra (Leolandia): `` yes, incredible, we struggle to find...

Ira (Leolandia): “ yes, incredible, we struggle to find employees ”


First it was the pandemic, then the international crisis and finally the increase in energy costs, not to mention the problems related to citizenship income that leads many to give up looking for work in order not to lose the contribution. Never before has the survival of businesses been put to the test as in this historical moment. The tourist facilities in particular know something about this which, in normal times, in the summer months increased the staff in order to cope with the greater influx of customers, expected throughout the year, but which today are squeezed between the difficulties deriving from months of closures and restrictions and a lack of workforce. Just a few days ago the news came that a park like Gardaland had to close some attractions early “due to the difficulties that – as the CEO Sabrina De Carvalho asserted – like the whole tourism sector, is experiencing in the search for personnel to be hired “. Let alone the smaller or family-run structures, typical of our local fabric. To better understand what is happening, Adnkronos consulted Giuseppe Ira, president of Leolandia, a park on the outskirts of Milan that last year celebrated its fiftieth year of activity and that for the Traverlers’ Choice of Tripadvisor in 2019 was the 14th most loved park in the world and the fifth most loved in Europe, for the third year. “We are open ten months a year -explains Ira-. With the pandemic, in 2020, we remained open for three months and in 2021 six ; in all we have lost 50 million in turnover and 15 million in actual cash. Against these 15 million lost, we have obtained about 2 and a half million in total with refreshments “. In this context,” we have 650 jobs available , most of which covered by staff who change every year. The minimum salary starts at 1,300 euros, to reach over two thousand euros without necessarily involving management levels. And then there are figures who earn even higher salaries, such as screenwriters or specialized maintenance. “The park remains open seven days a week; public access is from 10 to 18, but the starting time for workers depends on their function. The cleaning staff, for example, start early in the morning. The actual working hours for each, excluding part-timers, are on average eight to nine. Sometimes they can stretch to ten, but it is not the rule . And Sundays are paid with a 30% surcharge. “Many of these places, such as the operators of the rides, come from schools and universities:” Typically these are students who have just finished high school and who want to earn some money. Then, around October-November, many return to the desks and we integrate the remaining vacant positions with other staff “. For the catering part,” we also provide for their training, using economic resources. And often when the kids are experienced, they leave to work in more prestigious places. Then there are the female workers, who often need to have more free time to be able to look after the family and in that case we offer them contracts for fewer hours, 20 or 30, or vertical part-time. And the workers who may already have their own business and who, to supplement their income, ask to be able to work only on weekends. Finally there is the chapter of specialized figures, as in the case of surveyors, engineers and architects; we used about ten, but now they have all gone away to follow the 110% projects and we had to go to an external agency, incurring considerably higher costs, which allowed us to solve the problem at least temporarily “. that “the tourism-hotel sector is seasonal and therefore many structures have only three months of work; it is clear that they cannot offer a well-paid, permanent position. We, in the past, had never had problems finding workers, quite the contrary. On average, we received 5,000 resumes a year and from there we chose the best profiles. Now it’s the other way around. So much so that we have strengthened the HR staff, in charge of selecting the personnel “. But it happens that “our employees literally have to chase after the people who can work for us”. And therefore “as the market laws want, we offer much more attractive figures than before, with forms of flexibility in favor of the worker to give greater appeal to our job offers. For now it seems to work”. The problem remains, however, for companies of smaller or family-run, such as “bars, small bathing establishments or even small amusement parks, which suffer a sort of blackmail from workers, so people accept to work only if they are paid illegally, so that they do not lose their citizenship income “. Of course,” regarding the fact of the early closure of the attractions in some structures, it could also be a communication error. In the sense that the great drama that large amusement parks have is electricity, which has increased a lot and given that the ticket price is unique, this formula could have been used to justify the cost savings “. In any case, someone has devised systems to overcome this situation: “I cite the example of a campsite which, in addition to the employment contract, has reserved a part of its bungalows to accommodate staff who thus save on rental costs, whereas most of the workers come from outside “. In amusement parks, however, this is not always a viable solution:” Unfortunately the state is short-sighted; so far, for example, we have tried to tackle immigration arriving from North Africa by blocking the flow decree, which for us were fundamental since they allowed us to hire qualified or easily integrated personnel ”. A solution, for Ira, could be to “review, without necessarily abolishing, the mechanism of citizenship income. Suspending, and not revoking contributions when the jobs are seasonal or fixed term”. Because “as it is now structured, the system not only does not solve the problem of lack of work, but also risks increasing undeclared work. With enormous damage to businesses and taxpayers”.


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