Registering with a recruitment agency (or 'employment agency') could increase your chances of finding a job. Recruitment agencies can help you find either temporary or permanent work. You might be employed by the agency rather than by the company you're at placed with.

Most recruitment agencies will ask you to register with them if you want them to find you a job. You might have to call in to their office to register, but you will probably be able to register with them on-line and submit your CV. You might be asked to do a simple skills test.

Employers pay a fee to the agency. Recruitment agencies can't charge you a fee for registering or finding you work, but they may charge for additional services, such as CV writing or training.

When you telephone or visit an employment agency to register, your telephone manner and appearance are likely to be assessed.

You can find contact details for employment agencies by looking in the Yellow Pages, the local Thompson Directory or business directories. Details are also advertised in local newspapers, including the 'Jobs North East' section of the Evening Chronicle, published every Thursday.

Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) 

From 1st Ocotober 2011, the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) provide temporary workers with equal treatment in terms of basic working and employment conditions as if they had been employed directly to do the same job. The rights will apply after a 12 week qualifying period.

All agency workers can access facilities (such as a canteen, childcare facilities, etc) available to employed staff and can access information on job vacancies from the first day of their assignment ('Day 1' rights).

Following the 12 week qualifying period the temporary workers will be entitled to equal treatment, including; pay, working hours, overtime, breaks, holidays and access to training and collective facilities. Equal treatment does not apply to sick pay or paternity/maternity leave.

After 12 weeks in the same job, agency workers are entitled to receive equal treatment relating to pay and other basic working conditions, including working hours, overtime, breaks, holidays and access to training and collective facilities. After completing the 12 week qualifying period, pregnant agency workers will now be allowed to take paid time off for ante-natal appointments during an assignment. Equal treatment does not apply to sick pay or paternity/maternity leave.

Part-time workers can also accumulate these weeks, even if they only work a few hours a week.

For further information and guidance, visit the GOV.UK website.