Temp bonanza as students try out jobs before they commit to a full career.

More and more people are choosing temporary work as a preferred career choice, according to the latest figures.

Currently, there are nearly 1.5 million temporary workers registered with UK recruitment agencies, but that figure looks set to rise as 'temping' becomes the lifestyle choice for those who value flexibility over security.

Traditionally seen as a stop-gap between full-time employment with a single employer, many people are now actively choosing to become permanent 'temps' because of the freedom and choice it affords them.

And according to the latest research from recruitment consultancy OfficeTeam, nearly half of all temporary admin professionals are degree educated, who view temping as an open door into their preferred industry, or as a way to taste-test different companies before making a final choice.

Stella Godwin, managing director of Mainline Employment, based in Commercial Road, agrees.

She said: "A lot of graduates have focused so much on their exams that they don't know what to do next and temping gives them valuable time to think.

"It helps them try out different companies and get a feel for the atmosphere, which you can't do when applying for a permanent job."

She added: "Working for an agency helps them gain experience which is valuable at interview stage and it helps them keep their options open."

Helen Merryweather, 21, has just signed on with Mainline, having graduated this summer from Nottingham's Trent University with a degree in Business Management. Presently temping in the retail sector, Helen says temping allows her to work in different organisations before committing herself.

She explained: "I suppose you could say temping was a strategic decision because it means I can step back and take my time.

"I'm very aware that whichever company I choose to work for next, I'll be locking into them for a few years so I want to make sure the fit is right. This is definitely a career choice at this point in time."

Oscar Macmillan, 31, is also registered with Mainline. He used a student loan to qualify as an HGV driver. Trucking then helped fund his final year at law school.

Since graduating in 1999, Oscar has used temping as a means to pay the bills until he has a clearer idea of where he wants to go next.

He said: "I love the flexibility of temping. It has meant I can make a choice over the future direction of my life at my own pace, rather than being shoe-horned into a career."