Key points for selected education occupations
- In 2015, there were approximately 120,000 persons employed in the selected education occupations, representing 6.1% of national employment.
- Just over 80% of overall employment was at professional level (mostly in primary/nursery and secondary school teaching).
- Between 2010 and 2015, while overall employment expanded very modestly (1.5% on average annually), the change in employment varied by occupation; growth was observed for vocational & industrial trainers/instructors (5.1% on average annually), secondary teachers (3.1% on average annually) and primary & nursery teachers (1.6% on average annually), while modest decreases were observed for higher & further education teaching professionals (1.5% on average annually)
- Over the same five year period, there were a net 8,500 additional jobs created; the largest employment increases were observed for secondary and primary/nursery teachers.
- Between 2014 and 2015, overall employment expanded by 2.8% (similar to the national average rate), with a net 3,000 additional jobs; the largest increase (in absolute terms) was observed for primary/nursery teachers.
- At least one quarter of employed higher & further, teaching and other education professionals were aged 55 or older ─ above the national average.
- Over 90% of persons employed in professional occupations were third level graduates; the share was 70% for associate professionals (i.e. vocational & industrial trainers/instructors); just over half of employed educational assistants were third level graduates Females accounted for the highest share in all educational occupations, excluding higher & further education teaching professionals (gender balanced) and vocational & industrial trainers/instructors (46% female).
- Teaching and other educational professionals along with educational support assistants had the highest shares of persons working part-time at 35% and 28% respectively.
As the public sector resumes recruitment, employment growth is expected, primarily to address demographic demand: the DES estimates that, following an increased number of births from the late 1990s onwards, enrolments will continue to increase until 2018 (primary level) and 2025 (second level). In Budget 2016, the Government announced the creation of over 1,400 additional teaching posts for September 2016 to deal with demographic demand alone; it also announced the creation of over 800 additional teaching posts to reduce class size at primary level and to enhance guidance and leadership at second level.42 In addition, a significant share of the total recruitment requirement is also expected to arise due to replacement demand. In 2015, almost 3,000 transitions to economic inactivity (i.e. retirement, home duty etc.) were identified for primary and secondary teachers.
In 2015, graduate output from education courses at NFQ levels 8 and above was 6,000 (including private colleges). The extent to which this will meet the recruitment requirement will depend on Government policy regarding public expenditure on education.
Although no shortage of teachers has been identified overall, (in May 2016, there were 460 job ready job seekers with third level qualifications), issues continue to exist in relation to sourcing teachers (in both second and third level) with a high level of expertise in specific fields, such as science and mathematics. As the economy recovers, the ability to attract persons with science and maths skills into teaching may become more challenging given that such skills are also in demand in other sectors (e.g. IT, financial).