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Luxembourg – Uledi provides an overview of the Temporary Market

04 June 2012

Temporary work agencies are subject to a certain distrust by resident jobseekers in Luxembourg with 70% of temporary workers being non-residents and rising unemploymentnot changing the situation according Marc Kieffer, general secretary of the Luxembourg Staffing Association (Uledi) reported in Le Jeudi.

"Currently, companies use the services of temporary employment agencies for three main reasons. When they encounter difficulties in recruiting a specific profile, to cope with increased activity and because it is a solution that allows them, without wasting time and therefore money, to test the temporary staff for a job, "said Kieffer.

This is confirmed by figures from Uledi which suggest that 70% of "white collar" interims (managers, senior and middle managers) are offered a job within four to eight months working as a temporary. "This is less true for blue collar workers (workers and employees) but  25%  still get a full time job with much higher figures in the catering and hospitality sectors.

The sector has developed opportunities for further education and integration via its training organization, the Training Fund for the Interim Sector (ISP) that is dedicated to temporary and resident jobseekers.  One million euro has been invested by the sector in 2011. With 600 people received 8,000 hours of training in the following areas: technical/business (53.2%), safety (25.4%), management and human resources (8.5%), office (7%), languages (5.4%) and finance (0.5%).

According to Fabrice Poncé, President of Uledi speaking to Tageblatt, sales by the industry in 1996 was around €40 million.  In 2000, this jumped to the €100 million mark. Five years later, the temporary employment sector, then cracked the € 200 million mark. Another three years later, in 2008, total temporary employment business reached almost €300 million.

"In 2009 we experienced a slump in sales of 35%...[when the market] fell back to 2005 levels." Turnover in 2009 was around €220 million, almost €80 million less than in 2008, which was a record year.  In 2010, sales of employment agencies rose again significantly, reaching nearly €260 million.

In the same period, the number of temporary workers employed rose steeply from 3,902 employees 1998 to 7,922 in 2008. The financial crisis took its toll in 2009 with the number dropping back to 5,938 but in 2010 the sector employed more than 6,878 people again. A penetration rate (proportion of temporary workers to permanently employed workers) in the principality of 2%.

Fifteen years ago there were just over ten employment agencies in the Grand Duchy and less than 20 branches. Today there are 44 agencies with 70 branches.

"For many companies, temporary employment is often a strategy of caution." said the Vice President of Uledi , Jean-Pierre Mullenders, "Many CEOs would prefer to rely on temporary workers initially after order pick up before hiring new staff. “The temporary employment industry is often a barometer of economic development”.

In 2009, the number of hours contract workers were paid fell by over 30%. In 2010, when the Luxembourg economy regained momentum, the number of hours worked rose by 18% and last year they rose by 7.9%.

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