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Germany - Agency staff key to success of engineering firms

23 December 2011

Agency temporary employees currently represent 6% of the entire workforce of the machine tool engineering sector, up from 3% in 2005, according to new research carried out by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA).

The industry as a whole grew by +14% in 2011 when compared with 2010. However, the growth forecast for 2012 is reduced to 4% due to the uncertain economic outlook and the Euro crisis.

In September 2011, the industry employed 945,000 permanent employees and 57,000 agency temporary employees. Industry representatives believe that agency temporary employment will remain key to success, especially when times get tougher.

VDMA President, Dr. Thomas Lindner, commented "agency temporary employment is one of the key elements of flexibility in the industry and politicians must refrain from regulating agency temporary employment any further."

The research, entitled ‘Agency Temporary Employment in the Machine Tool Industry’, reveals that three out of four companies in the industry employ agency staff.

37% of surveyed companies believe that the chances of taking on agency temporary staff as permanent staff are 30% or higher. Lindner continued "agency temporary employment in machine tool engineering is a bridge towards permanent employment."

40% of employers in the industry say that agency temporary employees are not cheaper than permanent staff. One in three say that agency staff are more expensive.

Lindner concluded "in our sector at least, calling agency staff 'precarious employees' is misleading. It is important to mention this, especially at a time when the public debate on agency temporary employment is laden with emotional arguments [in this country]."

To read the full VDMA report, in German language, please here


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