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Germany – Why do temps want to be temps?

04 May 2012

Temporary work evokes mixed reactions in Germany where unions are currently on strike, labelling contingent employees as “modern slaves” and denouncing the industry as exploitative. But the latest figures show that in February 2012 there have been 750,000 temporary employees. So why do temps want to be temps?

The German association of temporary employment agencies BAP found in a survey that most temporary workers in the country choose to work in the industry because of the flexibility and diversity it has to offer. Most temporary workers appreciated the opportunity to get to know new companies and people, while being in an ever-changing environment. 

But these reasons were closely followed by another argument which many temporary workers put forward in justifying their job choice: they believe that contingent work will increase their employability overall and may land them a permanent job.

The fourth most cited reason for temporary work was to gain re-entry into the labour market while many also see it as an opportunity to escape unemployment.

The BAP conducted a survey as part of its campaign “Temporary employment: Market entry. Advancement. Growth” which aimed to investigate the reasons behind temporary staff working in the industry.

One temporary worker said that “Temporary employment is just right for me because I can get to know different work methods and systems while also educating myself further, broaden my horizon and stay flexible through the new impressions and new people.”

To read all the comments from temporary workers, in German, click here


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