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On 9 November 2011, ASSOLAVORO, the Italian member of the European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Eurociett), held its annual conference in Rome on the role of private employment agencies in the changing labour market.
Eurociett President, Annemarie Muntz, addressed an audience of over 150 participants, representing the industry, trade unions, governments, universities and journalists, and urged Italy to lift all outdated and unjustified restrictions to agency work, such as reasons for use, quotas on agency workers and maximum length of assignment, in order to achieve a more efficient labour market.
The recently published report 'Adapting to change', carried out by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Eurociett, shows that agency work contributes to more efficient labour markets. Countries in Europe that have reformed the labour markets according to the flexicurity model, by implementing its pillars to the specific national context, are those with more efficient labour markets.
In order to foster sound development of the industry, there is a need for appropriate regulation, which enables private employment agencies to offer a variety of HR services and to promote social dialogue and worker protection.
On 5 December 2011, Italy will have an opportunity to improve its score on the Regulatory Efficiency Index, by fully transposing the Agency Work Directive (2008/104/EC), reviewing restrictions to agency work and lifting those that are unjustified.
Annemarie Muntz, Eurociett President, commented "in this context, I welcome the decision to give private employment agencies the responsibility to provide apprenticeship contracts."
"This is indeed a step in the right direction. However, considering the high level of youth unemployment in Italy (near 30%) more must be done. Increasing cooperation with public employment services and ensuring a more significant role for private employment agencies in the implementation of active labour market policies will also help overcome unemployment and labour market inefficiencies."