Written Answers. - Job Vacancies.

Cecilia Keaveney

Question:

58 Cecilia Keaveney asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the level of job vacancies experiencing difficulty in being filled and the sectors within which these arise; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22020/99]

The table below – Table 1 – contains the number and percentage of vacancies by occupational group, ranked in order of the percentage of vacancies to employment, taken from the most recently published – 1999 – ESRI national survey of private sector vacancies. It shows that there were 53,000 vacancies, equivalent to 6% of the vacancy-to-employment ratio at the time of the survey in Autumn 1998. This table indicates that the greatest proportionate vacancies were among computer engineers and professionals and associate professionals. Another very significant category of vacancy was skilled maintenance and production workers – craftspersons.

Where firms had difficult-to-fill vacancies they were asked which was the single type of vacancy most difficult to fill. The most commonly cited occupational group was skilled tradespersons – 21% – with clerical – 11% – the next most commonly mentioned. This number one ranking for skilled tradespersons applied to both traditional and high-tech manufacturing and to both large and small firms in these sectors. However, in large high-tech manufacturing firms, engineers – 20% – managers – 15% –and computer specialists – 11% – were also frequently ranked as most difficult-to-fill. Computer specialists were the most difficult to fill for finance/ insurance/business services companies.

Table 1: Number & Percentage of Vacancies by Occupational Group

Occupational Group

Vacancies

%Vacancies/Employment

Computer Associate Professionals

1,400

16

Computer Professionals

1,600

15

Engineering Professionals

1,700

11

Engineering Associate Professionals

1,500

11

Science Associate Professionals

700

11

Security

900

11

Skilled Maintenance / Production

8,100

9

Personal Services

4,300

8

Science Professionals

200

7

Sales

7,900

7

Labourers

3,500

5

Transport, Communications

3,100

5

Production Operatives

8,400

5

Clerical, Secretarial

6,800

5

Other Professional

800

3

Other Assoc. Professionals

700

2

Managers, Proprietors

1,900

2

Total

53,600

6

(Source: National Survey of Vacancies in the Private Non-Agricultural Sector 1998, ESRI 1999)
The National Action Plan for Employment 1999 sets out a comprehensive range of actions addressing the challenges in our labour market including, for example, the range of fiscal and structural labour market policies aimed at ensuring an adequate supply of appropriately skilled labour to meet the demands of the economy.