Key points for selected arts, sports and tourism occupations
- In 2015, approximately 167,000 persons were employed in the selected arts, sports and tourism occupations, representing 8.5% of Ireland’s workforce.
- There were 120,000 persons employed in hotel, restaurant & publican related occupations, 29,000 persons in artistic, literary & media occupations and 19,000 persons in leisure, sports & travel service occupations.
- Between 2010 and 2015, overall employment expanded by 1.2% on average annually, similar to the national average growth rate of 0.8%.
- In 2015, employment was 9,000 above the 2010 level of 158,000.
- Over the five-year period, the most pronounced employment growth (in both absolute and relative terms) was observed for chefs & cooks and kitchen & catering assistants (jointly at 5% on average annually, or approximately 6,000 each).
- In contrast, the strongest rates of decline were observed for publicans (7.6% on average annually), bar staff and leisure & sports managers (jointly at 5% on average annually) and catering & bar managers (3.4% on average annually).
- The largest absolute decreases were observed for bar staff (5,000) and publicans (2,000).
- Between 2014 and 2015, overall employment levels remained virtually static.
- The workforce of both waiting and bar staff was the youngest among the selected occupations, with over a third employed in both occupations aged 15-24; in contrast, publicans had the most mature workforce, with two fifths aged 55 or older.
- At 95%, the overall workforce of media professionals had the highest share of third level graduates; on the other hand, 17% of employed publicans were third level graduates.
- While the overall workforce of the selected occupations was gender balanced, there was a higher representation of females in the workforce of waiting staff (at 78%), leisure & travel service occupations, kitchen & catering assistants and hotel & accommodation managers (with 60% of each respective workforce female); in contrast, the workforce of publicans had the highest share of males, at 80%.
- At least half of waiting and bar staff, and kitchen & catering assistants worked parttime ─ among the highest shares across all occupations in the national workforce
- Approximately 40% of those employed as chefs & cooks, kitchen & catering assistants and waiting staff were non-Irish nationals, far exceeding the national rate of 15%.
In 2015, there were approximately 120,000 persons employed in occupations providing hospitality services, such as hotels and restaurant managers, chefs, catering assistants and waiters.
These occupations are characterised by a higher than average volume of transitions between employment, unemployment and inactivity. For example, for chefs, there were 3,500 transitions between employers and 4,400 transitions into inactivity (including retirement) in 2015; even higher volumes of movements were observed for catering assistants and waiting/bar staff: there were 5,900 and 9,900 transitions between employment for these occupations respectively and a further 5,100 and 7,200 transitions into inactivity in 2015. Such high levels of transitions suggests that employment in many hospitality roles is casual in nature; this is supported by
(a) the fact that the share of part-time workers in these occupations is more than twice the national average (50% for catering assistants and above 55% for waiters/bar staff) and
(b) the simultaneous presence of a large number of job seekers (2,200 catering assistants and 2,700 waiters/bar staff in May 2016) and a large number of vacancies (in 2015, there were several thousand vacancies advertised on the DSP and Irishjobs.ie portals alone).
The demand for hospitality, sports and leisure services has been increasing with the recovery of the economy and a shortage of qualified chefs has already been identified.
Although there were 1,200 job ready chefs looking for work in May 2016, two thirds hold at most a Leaving Certificate, indicating that the majority are not qualified chefs.
The number of chefs qualifying from courses at NFQ levels 5-8 was almost 800 in 2014/15, up from 600 in 2013/2014; future supply will be further augmented once the five new proposed apprenticeships for chefs (commis (x 2), de partie, sous and executive), with over 100 registrations expected annually, come on stream.
While the supply is sufficient to meet the demand for lower skilled hospitality roles (waiters/bar staff and catering assistants), the availability of persons willing to take up those roles is expected to be negatively affected by the greater availability of job opportunities across other growing sectors.
Artistic, literary and media skills
The economic recovery is expected to positively impact on the demand for artistic, literary and media skills.
In May 2016, there were 1,200 third level graduates (NFQ 7+) who were job-ready artistic, literary, media and design associate professionals. Given that these occupations can contribute significantly in driving innovation across a variety of sectors sectors, they are an important resource for growth. However, augmenting artistic abilities with business and entrepreneurial skills is necessary in order to translate creativity into commercial opportunity within the creative arts sector (e.g. fine art, film industry), as well as other sectors (e.g. product development in manufacturing, sales and marketing etc.).