Casual labour will play a key role in post-COVID era

As an Executive’s right-hand-wo[man], EAs will have to help their bosses and businesses adapt and recover after the effects coronavirus left on Australia’s economy. The General Manager of workforce planning company APG Workforce says that the use of casual labour in Australia continues to accelerate and will play a key role in our recovery in the post-COVID workforce.

APG Workforce General Manager Dhaval Trivedi says his industry is uniquely placed to play a pivotal role as Australia and the rest of the world emerges from the COVID recession. “The workforce in Australia is estimated at being just under 13 million, a fourth of which is casual labour, and it is increasing faster than ever. Therefore, the role that casual labour will play in the post-COVID era is not only significant, but decisive.” 

Trivedi draws on his international experience and the recovery from the two most recent economic crises. 

“Past global experiences have proved that casual or agency workforce has played a significant role in helping economies recover from economic crisis, whether it was the recession in the early ‘90s or the GFC in 2007-08. The recession of the early ‘90s brought about a U-shaped dip in job vacancies. The GFC brought a 50 per cent cut in job vacancies in a single quarter but in a V-shaped recovery, it led to the back-to-back recovery in the three following quarters. Importantly, businesses using agency workforce recorded growth that was significantly higher than the rest. Much as COVID has brought Australia, like the rest of the world, to its knees, recovery should be a V-shaped one, with the casual workforce once again at the forefront,” said Trivedi. 

“The major advantage that an agency workforce has over a permanent workforce is flexibility. The uncertainty and lack of confidence that the pandemic will leave behind will drive business towards flexible labour solutions. Businesses will need labour of the quantity it needs, of the quality it needs, for the time it needs, and of the skill sets it needs. 

With an unprecedented mix of local economic uncertainty, health susceptibility and global volatility, businesses will want flexible labour solutions. The market is likely to soon experience a structural change and need a massive reallocation of labour. All of this will demand flexibility. The ability of organisations like APG Workforce to respond swiftly to changes in the labour market and efficiently source labour is an unparalleled and substantive strength to be a catalyst for revival,” Trivedi added. 

“Workforce management agencies like ours are extremely well placed to be a significant catalyst on the road to recovery. Remember, we’ve had some time to sharpen our skills – having implemented contact-free recruitment/induction processes, improved IT systems, improved processes, and systems. Our industry will play a key role in shaping the post-COVID world,” concluded Trivedi.