Key points for selected Administrative and Secretarial Occupations
- In 2015, there were approximately 148,000 persons employed in administrative and secretarial occupations, accounting for 7.6% of Ireland’s workforce.
- Between 2010 and 2015, overall employment in the selected occupations contracted by 1.6% on average annually (in contrast to a 0.8% increase observed nationally).
- There were almost 13,000 net job losses.
- Over the period 2010 to 2015, the change in employment varied by occupation; the strongest increase (expressed in both rates and levels) was observed for office managers & supervisors.
- In contrast, the strongest declines (both rates and levels) were observed for government administrative occupations (6.6% on average annually) and PAs & other secretaries (3.6% on average annually).
- Between 2014 and 2015, employment contracted by 2.3% (translating into 3,500 net job losses); there was no significant change in employment levels for most occupations.
- At least two thirds of those employed in each occupation was aged 25-54; the age profile of employed receptionists was the youngest, with 13% aged 15-24; in contrast, it was the most mature for records & library clerks, with one quarter aged 55 or older.
- Overall, the share of persons employed in administrative and secretarial occupations who had attained higher secondary/FET qualifications was well above the national average (50% compared to 37%), with the share for each occupation exceeding the national average.
- In contrast, the share with third level qualifications was below the national average (43% compared to 48%); however, the share was higher than the national average for office managers & supervisors (57%), and for records & library clerks (49%).
- At least 70% of persons employed in each occupation was female.
- The share of persons in part-time employment was above the national average for most occupations, while the share of non-Irish nationals was below average across all occupations.
In 2015, there were many vacancies for administrative and secretarial roles. However, many of the clerical vacancies were arising due to replacement (7,800 transitions to inactivity were identified for clerks, in 2015) and turnover (13,700 transitions between employers).
The incidence of high churn is further underlined by the presence of both a high number of vacancies (11,000) at the same time as a comparably high number of job seekers (11,600 job ready clerks looking for work in May 2016).
In addition, there were over 5,800 QQI awards in business and administration made to FET learners in 2015, mostly at NFQ level 6.
Supply is estimated to be sufficient to meet the recruitment requirement and no shortages exist at present. While there is no shortage of general administrative skills, there is evidence that demand for specific administrative skills is increasing, particularly for procurement agents/officers (especially indirect procurement).