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Teachers and nurses are choosing to work through agencies because they are disillusioned with permanent work, research has found.
A report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), has revealed that employees in these sectors feel there is better work-life balance and less stress in temporary work.
Use of agency workers in the public sector, which was commissioned by the Government’s Office for Manpower Economics, found that agency staff in teaching and nursing were likely to be highly experienced, but preferred to pick and choose where they worked.
Many cited bureaucracy and office politics as reasons for shunning permanent public-sector employment, and both agency nurses and supply teachers said that the flexibility of temporary work trumped pay when it came to the type of roles they found attractive.
The research also involved NHS trust managers, who reported that agency staff’s skills tended to be on a par with permanent employees, with concerns around continuity rather than skill level.
Headteachers, meanwhile, said that recruiting supply teachers often meant they could gain access to candidates they would not normally have.
However, the NIESR and REC found that school leaders had less understanding of how agencies’ fee structures work, how they vet candidates or why they should pay finders’ fees.
Both headteachers and NHS trust managers believe it’s u