Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Temporary agency workers face poor development potential

05.10.2011
Staffing agency personnel who stay with a client company for a long time face a low development potential and feel that they are not increasing their perceived employability.

The reason is that they get to try and learn new things to a much lower degree than their more traditionally employed colleagues. These are the main conclusions of a new study from the University of Gothenburg.

Staffing agencies have been around for almost 20 years in Sweden, and they are well established in the country’s labour market. They employ an equivalent of about 50 000 full-time workers, and roughly 30% of all large private and public employers use their services. Women, immigrants and unmarried individuals are over-represented among staff agency workers.

Shared responsibility
In Sweden and in the rest of the EU, the staffing agency and the client company share the responsibility for the contracted workers. The agency serves as the actual employer and is therefore in charge of for example skills development training, performance reviews and development plans, whereas the client company has more of an on-site responsibility, including work environment issues.

In an article published in Arbete och hälsa (in Swedish), Hannes Kantelius, doctoral student at the Department of Work Science, University of Gothenburg, reports the results of a study with 57 interviews – including both staffing agency personnel with long-term assignments and regular permanent staff and also managers, supervisors and union representatives – at industrial enterprises, logistics companies and one government agency. Some of the agency-provided staff had spent more than two years with the same client company.

Extensive introductory training
‘One thing that the studied companies had in common was that the agency workers generally need extensive training on the job they were hired to do. This may eliminate the advantages to the client company of using temporary staffing, which is to have a flexible workforce that can be adjusted upwards or downwards according to the need at hand,’ says Kantelius.

The client companies therefore demand that these staff members keep the same work tasks for the duration of the contract. The introductory training is a bottleneck where a high agency-provided staff turnover imposes a burden on the client company’s organisation since it then has to divert resources to extensive staff training.

None of the temporary agency workers included in the study had been invited by their staffing agency to discuss work performance or development, as required by the Swedish Work Environment Act. Neither had they had the opportunity to vary their work tasks, due to the client companies’ demand.

A dead-end street
‘Agency workers with long contracts feel like they are stuck on a dead-end street. They are not gaining any relevant knowledge, skills, experience, networks, contacts or anything else that makes them perceive themselves as more attractive in the labour market,’ says Kantelius.
‘Another important finding is that the behaviour and demands of client companies have a large impact on the staffing industry, including on the affected people’s development potential.’
However, there is one exception: highly educated white-collar workers who perform advanced work tasks related to industrial engineering. This group felt that their time as an agency worker actually had made them more attractive in the labour market, as they had performed qualified work tasks linked to their education. Yet, similar to the other studied groups, this group of agency workers did not envision a future in working as a staffing agency employee.

In regard to training opportunities, the studied temporary agency workers have a lot in common with other groups of temporary workers at large despite the fact that most of them are in fact permanently employed by their staffing agency.

For further information please contact: Hannes Kantelius
Telephone: +46(0)31-786 54 18 or 0703-61 90 95
E-mail: hannes.kantelius@av.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://gupea.ub.gu.se/bitstream/2077/24757/1/gupea_2077_24757_1.pdf

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>