Right of Reply: Rona White
Monday 16 August 1999
IT'S HAPPENED again. No, not a second solar eclipse - but another story about employment agencies. According to Brian Wilkinson, vice chair of the Federation of Recruitment and Employment Services (FRES), employment agencies will suffer a 15 to 30 per cent downfall in profits. To survive, they will, apparently, have no choice but to cut down on training temps hoping to re-enter the employment market.
His apocalyptic stance is misleading. The present economic climate ensures that employment agencies are profiting from the training of temps that they acquire from elsewhere. In the desktop publishing field, for example, agency temps need two years operational experience before they can register for work; and secretarial agencies always test temps on their existing typing, shorthand and audio skills before they use them.
It's usually the case that employment agencies offer temps training only when they can't meet organisations' current skills requirements.
Many employment agencies may, inadvertently, promote age discrimination. Sally Hollings, of Maine-Tucker Recruitment, says: "Many employers are still ageist and wouldn't consider [older applicants] at an interview for a permanent position." In other words, should agencies be forced to cut back on temp-to-permanent opportunities, they still can't stem the tide of employer prejudice. May I suggest that employment agency staff stop asking temps and permanent applicants their age when they register?
The Government's reforms intend to equalise the distribution of power between temps, the recruitment industry and organisations. If individual employment agencies are restricted from charging organisations "temp-to- perm fees" they will no longer restrict labour mobility for temps wishing to work for firms other agencies introduced them to; and smaller to medium- sized organisations will be better placed to offer temps stable employment opportunities.
That way everyone can live happily ever after.
Arts & Ents blogs
Dennis Hopper's lost sixties photo album found
Top Gear makes Saudis look liberal, Kirsty Wark tells Independent Bath Literature Festival
Jenny Collier row: Comedy promoter apologises after dropping female comic 'because venue did not want too many women on the bill'
Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Jared Leto: Best Supporting Actor Oscar sparks backlash from transgender community
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 4 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 5 Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times