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Stephannie Smith
13th May, 2014

Public Sector Organisations Ramp Up Use Of Temps

Portsmouth Harbour, Spinnaker Tower

It has long been clear that private sector organisations cannot operate flexibly without recourse to temporary workers. Temporary labour is also growing in importance for the public sector, which needs it for the efficient delivery of front-line services, Online Recruitment reports.

This trend has been highlighted by the latest edition of the Comensura Government Index (GI), which reveals that public sector bodies increased their use of temporary workers by 2.7% between April 2013 and March 2014.

light industrial and office/admin/clerical, where the respective increases were 9.3% and 3.4%

The most pronounced growth was observed in the construction sphere, where the rise in temporary worker full-time equivalents (FTE) during the year amounted to an impressive 36.6%. Other job classes that stood out were light industrial and office/admin/clerical, where the respective increases were 9.3% and 3.4%. Overall, temporary worker FTE registered growth in eight of the 13 professional categories included in the Comensura GI.

Among the highlights of the report is the accelerating demand for highly skilled, white-collar temps. While the number of finance positions fell in 2013/2014, demand for all other white-collar independent professionals grew stronger. In the IT sphere, for example, temp placements jumped by 11.2% and the number of professional positions rose by 10.5%. This increase suggests that public sector organisations are pursuing a broader range of temporary workers in order to plug skill and expertise gaps in their permanent workforce.

According to the report, the greater use of temporary labour in the public sector is the result of several factors working in unison. In addition to grappling with budget pressures, public sector organisations also have to deal with freezes on permanent recruitment and the challenge of limited candidate availability. By turning to temporary labour, local authorities can immediately address their short-term resourcing problems and enjoy the benefit of flexibility at the same time.

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