Security company G4S brings in people with autism for luggage control at Brussels Airport

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Perfectionism and the ability to concentrate help to detect irregularities 

Since February, G4S, the world leader in integrated security, has been employing six people with autism-spectrum disorder (ASD) at Brussels Airport. The pilot project is being run in collaboration with TRplus/Passwerk. The new employees are in charge of performing the X-ray screenings to check the luggage of passengers in the airport. “Screeners are essential to achieve good security at the airport. People with autism process information in a different way which means that they notice irregularities more quickly. The first weeks of employment for our new employees are already showing that they have all the required qualities to quickly master the screening process”, Jean-Paul Van Avermaet of G4S Belgium explains.

Perfectionism and ability to concentrate

Under the leadership of TRplus/Passwerk, G4S has been employing six people with autism-spectrum disorder since the start of February. TRplus/Passwerk is an organisation that employs people with autism in a number of different sectors, including ICT, and it provides lifelong job coaching for its employees.

The employees are responsible for carrying out the X-ray screening of passenger luggage at Brussels Airport. People with autism are able to concentrate very well and are perfectionists. Due to their attention to detail, they are good at noticing irregularities and patterns. This focus and attention to detail ensure that they are exceptionally well suited to performing the role of a screener.

It is not always easy for people with the autism-spectrum disorder to find a job on the regular job market”, explains Nico De Cleen at TRplus/ Passwerk. “Positions such as luggage screening at airports suit them down to the ground, however. The strengths of people with autism tie in perfectly with the job requirements for a good screener.

Wide range of jobs and profiles

Over the past few months, prospective screeners have been subjected to a very thorough recruitment process. A separate class group was set up in which the training was adapted to their needs and an individual guidance profile was formulated in collaboration with TRplus/Passwerk. To make sure they feel at home, in collaboration with Brussels Airport G4S and TRplus/Passwerk provided a calm work area, far from all the stress so typical of airports.

Best people is one of our most important group values”, Jean-Paul Van Avermaet of G4S Belgium tells us. “Yet best people is not limited to a single specific profile. Within our organisation, there is a high degree of diversity of jobs and that means that a wide range of profiles is also considered for a job at G4S. In short, in our workforce, we strive to achieve a reflection of the professional population. This pilot project with TRplus/Passwerk is perfectly in keeping with such a vision.”

This project was the result of the joint innovation meetings of G4S and Brussels Airport Company. Security is a top priority for both companies, resulting in a continuous search for ground-breaking applications that benefit security operations.

Brussels Airport, March 19, 2019

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