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Although unemployment has been on the rise and the Portuguese staffing market has proved difficult for a number of international recruiters, more jobseekers in the country are using staffing companies to find employment.
This is according to Joaquim Adegas, the new head of the association of temporary employment agencies (APESPE) in Portugal. The organisation represents around 80% of the market share in the Portuguese temporary staffing industry through its member firms.
“Given the restrictions on hiring and the lack of jobs, the role of private employment agencies is central to reverse the situation and fight unemployment,” Mr Adegas told news agency Lusa.
It has become more of a norm for employers to use staffing agencies, which is also due to the staffing industry shaking off their negative image.
“In the 1980s temporary work was taboo,” Mr Adegas said. Previously agency work was considered precarious and was associated with job insecurity. According to Mr Adegas, this has changed because more information about the industry has become available.
Temporary staffing has proved beneficial for the long-term unemployed in particular. “Companies have realised the advantages of using us to find workers and secondly, private employment services offer hope to people, providing them a gateway into the labour market, acting as a springboard for a permanent contract,” he said.
The number of people signing up to services offered by ASPESE has grown by over 1,200 in the first half of 2012 to around 6,060 in October this year. Most vacancies available to temporary workers can be found in sales, call centres, customer support and health technician jobs.