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Northern Ireland

17,600 people were employed in the sector in Northern Ireland in 2007, of which:

  • 52% are in the cleaning and support services industry
  • 44% in the housing and property industry
  • 4% in the facilities management industry

Between 1999 and 2007, the number of employees in the sector in Northern Ireland increased by 58%. The housing and property industry experienced the greatest increase (194%), whilst the cleaning and support services industry only had a 14% increase in workforce numbers.

Elementary occupations account for 63% of all employment across the sector, compared with 11% across all industries in the UK. Managerial occupations account for 14%, compared with 16% in the UK economy as whole.

The sector workforce is under-represented in a number of occupational areas compared to the UK economy as a whole:

  • 3% professional occupations, compared with 13% in the UK
  • 8% associate professional and technical occupations, compared with 15% in the UK
  • 6% administrative and secretarial occupations, compared with 12% in the UK
  • 2% skilled trades, compared with 11% in the UK
  • 2% personal service, compared with 8% in the UK
  • 1% sales and customer services, compared with 8% in the UK

Across the sector, 36% of companies have provided their employees with literacy, numeracy and ICT training.

The sector has a significantly higher proportion of small businesses employing between 1-10 people (94%), compared with all industries in Northern Ireland (84%).

Workforce characteristics:

  • 58% of the sector workforce is employed full-time, compared with 72% in the UK.
  • 63% of the sector workforce is female, compared with 46% in the UK.
  • In the property and housing industry in Northern Ireland, 59% of the workforce is female is predominately female and 67% in the cleaning and support services industry.
  • 74% of the sector workforce is aged between 25-54 years, compared with 69% across the UK.
  • 9% of the workforce is aged 16-24 years (14% in the UK) and across the industries, only 5% in the cleaning and support services industry and none in the facilities management industry.
  • 40% of the sector workforce has no qualifications, compared with 9% across the UK.
  • 55% of the cleaning and support services industry have no qualifications (55%).
  • 59% of the sector workforce is Northern Ireland is qualified to below Level 2

Source: Asset Skills Sector Skills Assessment – Northern Ireland 2010