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UK – More temporaries working in construction

23 October 2012

There has been a strong increase in temporary recruitment within the UK construction sector, according to the latest quarterly Comensura Government Index which showed a +45% rise in this industry.

Despite the growth, the construction industry is still on its way to recovery and caution remains in place.

“The construction industry is still struggling, even after a strong rebound in July; there is optimism within the industry that it will pick up. It is clear that many Local Authorities are taking a cautious approach. It will be interesting to see how the next 12 months fare for the sector,” said Jamie Horton, managing director at Comensura.

The research indicates that local council cuts in the past year have had a negative impact on temporary positions such as refuse collection, street cleaning and waste management with this sector recording a -21% decline from a year ago.

Overall, the UK posted a +2.9% increase in temporary staffing in the last three months when compared to the previous quarter. But year-on-year, this figure dropped, particularly in the North East where temporary labour was down by over 50%.  

“Temporary labour is clearly on the rise, but the length of assignment is now considerably shorter. Pre 2010, the average length of a temporary assignment was around 100 days but the current average is closer to 60 days, which reflects a shift as a result of the Agency Worker Regulations,” said Mr Horton.

However, young people do not appear to have benefitted as much from the rise in temporary staffing. “Our results show that employers looking for temporary labour are choosing to overlook this generation, with those aged 16-24 seeing a 12.4% decrease in temporary job roles.”

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