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 What and how much we eat might change our internal clocks and hormone responses
07.11.2019 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Do horses copy humans?
30.10.2019 | Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Umwelt Nürtingen-Geislingen

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: Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

Im Focus: A new quantum data classification protocol brings us nearer to a future 'quantum internet'

The algorithm represents a first step in the automated learning of quantum information networks

Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...

Im Focus: Distorted Atoms

In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.

An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...

Im Focus: A Memory Effect at Single-Atom Level

An international research group has observed new quantum properties on an artificial giant atom and has now published its results in the high-ranking journal Nature Physics. The quantum system under investigation apparently has a memory - a new finding that could be used to build a quantum computer.

The research group, consisting of German, Swedish and Indian scientists, has investigated an artificial quantum system and found new properties.

Im Focus: Shedding new light on the charging of lithium-ion batteries

Exposing cathodes to light decreases charge time by a factor of two in lithium-ion batteries.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have reported a new mechanism to speed up the charging of lithium-ion...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

High entropy alloys for hot turbines and tireless metal-forming presses

05.11.2019 | Event News

Smart lasers open up new applications and are the “tool of choice” in digitalization

30.10.2019 | Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnets for the second dimension

12.11.2019 | Machine Engineering

New efficiency world record for organic solar modules

12.11.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Non-volatile control of magnetic anisotropy through change of electric polarization

12.11.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>