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Representatives of the European staffing industry have called to lift sectoral bans for agency workers which still apply in some countries. The European confederation of private employment agencies, Eurociett, said that temporary agency work plays a significant part in helping people find jobs.
Eurociett President Annemarie Muntz said: “Temporary agency work clearly has a vital role of facilitating labour market transitions. However, in order for the maximum potential benefit to be felt, unjustified restrictions to the sector such as sectoral bans must be removed, as called for in the EU Directive on temporary agency work”.
A new report by Eurociett which was launched at a conference in Brussels this week showed that staffing firms, in particular, help the unemployed find work.
In the Netherlands, 33% of unemployed jobseekers found jobs through the sector while in France and Italy, 40% of people coming to temporary agency work were previously unemployed. In Germany, this figure was even higher at over 60% last year.
In Belgium, 48% of temporary agency workers are using staffing services to improve their chances of finding permanent work. A temporary job is also often the first work experience for many young people. Those aged under 25 represent 37% of agency workers in Belgium, 46% in the Netherlands and 33% in Italy, the report showed.
It found that temporary staffing also helps other groups to find jobs. 31% of agency workers in the Netherlands, for instance, are part of an ethnic minority, long-term unemployed, or disabled.