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Recognition of the experience of temporary workers through an analysis of their professional, personal and training experience

Why has it become necessary to analyse the professional, personal and educational experience of temporary workers? What is the potential added value of this process for these employees?

[Translation (French-English) : EPALE France]

2017 and 2018 were marked by an increase in temporary work (1). In 2019, a slight decrease of -7.6% was observed overall in July 2019 (2). From 2019 onwards, to support these employment dynamics, the sector's players must meet several challenges: securing the careers of temporary employees and promoting mobility between professions or fields of activity. We know that the general idea of securing professional careers involves creating rights (training, support, remuneration, social protection) that are attached to the person and no longer to the status of employee in order to develop and facilitate transitions between jobs during a professional career.


After testing several systems (in particular through responses to calls for tenders from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Ministry for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities (until 2010)), I was able to test the portfolio methodology for temporary employment agencies to enable temporary workers to build a skills booklet, specific to themselves. This is a personal booklet in which learning outcomes, experience and personal achievements are defined and demonstrated in interviews for recognition by a certifying institution or in another context by an employer. The skills booklet differs from the curriculum vitae in that the information it contains is articulated according to an objective, for example, a request for recognition of prior learning on a diploma. Proof of the person's prior learning is required. Several interviews are conducted with each applicant. The interviews can be conducted as explanatory interviews.



Why has it become necessary to analyse the professional, personal and educational experience of temporary workers? What is the potential added value of this process for these employees?

First, setting up advisers/support workers within temporary employment agencies allows temporary workers to think about their career paths in the long term and limit breaks. The purpose of the adviser is not to collect data (they are not a researcher). As for the temporary worker, they are not an informant on what a particular trade involves. It is not about obtaining knowledge about the missions carried out by temporary workers for the purposes of training other professionals seeking to improve their practices or perfect their professional actions.

Secondly, the advisor/support person can allow for an analysis of experience. The primary objective is not problem solving, professional development, analysis of potential errors, change in work organization to keep the job, or adaptation to a job itself. Although, in some cases the mechanisms of identifying experiences, skills and their formalisation, can lead to the resolution of problematic situations or the development of new perspectives for long-term employment, among other things.

Thirdly, the adviser/support worker helps the agency adviser, whose work is centred on the temporary worker for himself, the "mediation" is aimed first at benefiting the employee, but for other purposes as follows, to:


  1. Capitalize skills acquired during temporary work, for example highlight informal, implicit knowledge, what is not usually said or observed, what is not seen, and therefore not recognized. Take note of all the activities carried out (the totality of the work carried out including everything that goes beyond the tasks initially assigned) by the temporary worker and defined in terms of developed skills, and thus highlight the complexity and singularity of temporary work. Awareness of their resources and potential. A transition to their own recognition of their experience, acceptance of their skills acquired during professional, personal and educational activity.

Note: temporary workers have a fragmented view of their work and life organisation, due to their isolated, repeated missions.

  1. Produce new skills during the support period (an observation made during the project) such as: knowing how to say what your job is, knowing how to formalize your skills, knowing how to become aware of your job, knowing how to formalize your wishes (hence an educational process): “I recognize myself as a particular professional... I am this professional because I know how to do this... I am able to... I want to..." (the issue of identity, "I identify myself with what professional style?”). A transition towards an appropriation of how to value themselves and share their experience.
  2. Validate skills: the temporary worker validates their experience and becomes qualified, obtaining a diploma in whole or in part, which promotes the recognition of the experience of temporary workers by others, and mainly by the company. A transition to sharing competencies that are made "public", so to speak.

The answer to securing professional careers is not solely technical or legal, nor is it solely about protection. The development of professional skills or the management of employability, the relationship with the labour market (not to mention employment areas), support and supervision through official measures, the participation of social, training and employment actors together form an incompressible whole that will promote secure career pathways through joint action.

The recognition of prior learning (VAE) and all its processes can develop a tool for securing professions. The implementation of support practices must be integrated into this. Not to mention reflexivity, the mechanisms of which are inherent in the very process of VAE and which leads to a field of reflection and actions to be carried out.

The advisor/support worker is a central role in the sector of temporary work.

How can practices be tested? For temporary employment agencies and companies, how can we set up measures to secure career paths?

The European project can be an interesting step, following the example of similar projects on the subject in recent years: out in partnership with the Manpower brand.



Communication article, human resources sector

Barometer of temporary employment with downloadable report (July 2019):

Ministry of Labour, with report of statistical data on temporary employment (summer 2019)

Report on temporary agency work according to 1,000 temporary agency workers who have carried out at least

at least one interim assignment in the past year (2018-2019):




This article was written by Roseline Le Squère, EPALE thematic coordinator for "European Policy, Projects and Funding", administrator of the Dupuy de Lôme Research Institute, University of South Brittany.


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