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 Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>