Employees under 30 often work under temporary contracts. At the same time, this age category is the most positive about their career opportunities and the labour market in general. What are the main reasons for their optimism?

The number of temporary employees in Belgium is rapidly increasing. According to Federgon, the Belgian Federation for HR Services, there are now more than 580 thousand temporary jobs, the majority of which are done by people under 30. More than 50% of the youngest generation of employees have an interim contract. In comparison, among workers of 45 years and above it is less than 16%.

From a traditional point of view young employees have the least job security, although that generation do not necessarily perceive it as something negative. On the contrary, according to the latest results of PageGroup’s Job Applicant Confidence Index, job seekers under 30 are the most positive about their career and the labour market in general. More than 80% are convinced they will find a new job within 3 months, whereas among job seekers between 30 and 50 the figure is less than 60%.

What has sparked this optimism in the youngest generation of jobseekers? Here are some of the most important reasons:

1. Temporary employment is booming

The job market is improving, and this is largely due to the booming number of temporary contracts. According to the most recent figures from Federgon, the amount of temporary job openings increased by 84% between 2014 and 2016. Because working people under 30 are the ones most likely to do temporary work, they are benefiting the most from the growing number of jobs available.

2. Temporary jobs are a way to gain experience and develop your skills

Although it´s certainly not the case for everybody, there is a growing group of young professionals who find temporary work a good way to gain experience in different sectors and under new ways of working. According to PageGroup´s Index, 80% of all employees under 30 expect to develop their skills in the upcoming year, representing the highest percentage throughout all age groups. 

3. Temporary jobs are a stepping stone to your career

Many young job seekers see a temporary assignment as the perfect career starter. And rightly so, explains Paul Verschueren, director of Economic Affairs for Federgon, in a recent report of the HR federation. “The evolution of temporary employment is related to the economic climate. As soon the economy starts growing, employers will first offer temporary and interim contracts. When the growth continues many of these contracts will be converted into permanent contracts. More than half of temporary workers get a permanent job within a year.”

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