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Germany – Temporary work improves job prospects only in the long term

06 November 2012

Working in a temporary job can improve career prospects for unemployed people significantly although new research indicates that job prospects only tend to increase in the long term.

A study by the Bertelsmann Foundation found that 7% of agency workers found permanent employment, with chances being higher at larger firms and in the business related service sector. This contradicts figures by the staffing industry which claims that the so-called transition rate lies higher at 30%. 

Still, those formerly unemployed appear to benefit the most from temporary staffing with 70% having found a permanent job after two years. The study concludes that the ‘springboard’ effect increases by +20% if workers had previously been employed by a staffing agency. However, chances of finding a permanent job do not improve much in the short term, it cautioned. 

“Temporary staffing is a real opportunity for many unemployed persons to find employment quickly and permanently. But hoping to swiftly find employment outside the staffing industry remains rare,” said Juliane Landmann of the Bertelsmann Foundation.

To improve employment prospects, the foundation has called on closing pay gaps in the staffing industry although collective agreements have started to raise pay for agency workers this year.

It also suggested that staffing companies should receive premiums by the federal labour agency if temporary workers find employment elsewhere.  


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