A TEMP FOR ALL SEASONS
BTS Groupement 1 / Session 2001
(Action Commerciale, Assurance, Professions Immobilières, Communication des entreprises)
The summer has traditionally been a time when the unfamiliar voices of temps are heard in offices throughout the land. But like strawberries in supermarkets, temps are no longer a seasonal feature.
A government survey shows that, while numbers of full-time permanent employees are declining, those of temps are growing. "Temporary staffing is becoming strategic," says Chris Leonard, the founder of Tempz.com, one of the few successful dot-com launches in recent months. "Companies now have a core workforce of permanent staff and a flexible staffing strategy. It's an extension of the trend towards just-in-time resourcing. You get in people when you need them." His picture of the labour market is confirmed by Clive Davies, the associate director of Robert Half international, another leading agency. "Companies are building a budget for temps into their labour costs," he says. "It is not just a seasonal phenomenon, although the demand for temps does go up during the holiday periods. The main thing is that hiring temps enables companies to respond to sudden surges in demand for their goods or services without incurring any liabilities if it doesn't last."
There is also a generational change developing in the way individuals look at their working lives. Daniel Kasmin, the human resources director of Manpower, says: "Young people in general feel that taking on temporary work gives them more liberty to move around. The end of the job-for-life culture means they no longer see any advantages in not making the most of their years of freedom before they get committed to families and mortgages."
Although employers recognise these changes, agencies report that few have developed coherent policies for integrating temps with their workforce. The usual pattern is that a call for a temp comes through an office manager who only gives the agency a few hours notice.
The boom in temporary employment has led to a proliferation of temp agencies. There are some big brand names, but plenty of others are competing for what can be highly profitable business. Increasingly, the big agencies are becoming employers in their own right, providing holiday pay, sickness benefits and skill training for the temps on their books, and covering them for insurance.
Adapted from the Times, August 17, 2000
I. Comprehension (10 points)
Vous rendrez compte en français du phénomène décrit dans le texte en l'envisageant successivement du point de vue de l'employeur, de l'employé et des agences.
200 mots (+ ou - 10%) Vous indiquerez le nombre de mots utilisés.
Toute présentation sous forme de notes sera pénalisée.
II. Expression (10 points)
Answer the following questions in English:
1.Do you think the job-for-life culture is coming to an end? Justify your opinion.
(120 words at least, 5 points)
2. Would you like to work as a temp ? (120 words at least)