This text examines the situation
of young workers hired by temporary work agencies. It is based on the results
of semi-directed interviews with 40 young people in the Quebec City region. Our
findings show that young workers who have recourse to these agencies are highly
educated, have low incomes and contain high proportions of immigrants and
students. Heterogeneity is a strong characteristic of this category of workers.
The intermittence of the work and the «jerky temporality» are abiding features
of their career path in this segment of the labour market. The young temp workers
interviewed have diverse and heterogeneous views of their working conditions.
The intermediation function of temp agencies, which connect employers looking
for labour to job-seekers, is identified as the main advantage of the recourse
to agencies. As for the inconveniences, they concern mainly the uncertainties
which ensue from temporary work. Altogether, we note an «optimistic»
positioning of young people with regard to recourse to temp agencies: a result
of several factors pertaining to the local labour market context, but also of
increased individualism and acceptance by this age group of the post-fordist