Aussie Labour Hire - Providing Skilled Labour For More Than 50 Years

Before we leap into the 50 years plus celebration of Labour Hire, I need to highlight the fact that all labour is skilled. It is just the level of skill that sometimes changes!

By comparison to many industries, this type of hire is relatively new here in Australia.

As limited as the history manuals are; the use of agencies or companies specialising in the provision of workers to organisations dates back to at least the 1950s.

In Australia, the Skilled Group is widely credited for creating labour hire as a viable business service. That service has now been with us, dating back more than 50 years ago.

The company was formed in 1964 and changed its name in 1966 to Skilled Engineering which is what many know it by today.

The pieces of the puzzle that come together to make what the industry is today can be viewed through three industrial developments.

1. The traditional agency employment industry.
'Temping agencies' have long specialised in the provision of workers to help clients cope with fluctuations in demand or the temporary absence of employees through the likes of holidays.

The temps may not have all been of the highest administrative calibre but over time, skills developed and so too did its value to the market.

Many of firms have flourished in recent years and expanded the range of staff they can provide well beyond the original office temps that dominated 'staffing solutions' prior to the 1990's.

2. The recruitment industry.
Growing in popularity during the 1970's and 1980's was the need to outsource certain aspects of HR functions. Specialist recruitment companies providing shortlists of suitable candidates was quickly becoming an accepted practice.

With the growth in the demand for labour hire, recruitment firms found it relatively easy to offer clients short term or longer term placements whereby the worker worked at the client's premises but their wage was paid by the recruitment firm.

The "Try before you buy" was born!
Companies where quick to realise the power behind being able to evaluate possible long term placements whilst accepting little of the risk during the initial employment period.

3. The 'Raw' labour hire industry.
In the late 1980s a number of small specialist firms began to offer contract labour as a alternative to existing employment for companies in a number of highly unionised and dispute-prone industries such as building and construction and shearing.

The early '90's saw more and more companies discarding their base employment strategies, or at least a substantial portion of it, and utilised labour hire companies to provide their workforce.

The growth of labour hire companies in recent years reflects the desire by Australian businesses to maximize workforce flexibility. It is a huge benefit and one that provides choice well beyond what may have otherwise been available.

As company and organizational needs change, we see the Labour Hire industry adapt itself right along with it. The evolvement serves as a constant reminder that the traditional employer-employee relationships are not as they used to be and new requirements are now in place.

Skilled labour and unskilled labour continues to become more accessible as agencies and their resources on offer continue to spread their wings. It comes as no surprise to see more and more industries positioning themselves to take advantage of it.


Post a Comment