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Northern Ireland

There are 72,262 people employed in the health sector in Northern Ireland. The health sector accounts for 10.2% of the country’s total employment. The independent sector accounts for 23% of the total health sector workforce.

There is 1 healthcare employee for every 25 people resident in Northern Ireland.

15% of organisations in the health and social work sector report vacancies. 10% of healthcare establishments report skills gaps compared to 14% in the whole economy.

The health sector workforce has grown by 28.5% between 1997-2007. Between 2007 and 2017, the health sector across Northern Ireland is forecast to grow by approximately 7,000 people, which equates to 9.2%. The total requirement for workforce will be approximately 39,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

Workforce statistics:

  • 81% of the workforce is female.
  • 32% of the workforce is aged 35-44 years.
  • 94% of the workforce is white.
  • 10% of the workforce reports a disability.
  • 69% of the workforce is qualified to NVQ Level 4 or above.
  • 42% of the workforce is in Associate Professional and Technical occupations.

Source: Skills for Health AACS LMI report 2010 and Skills and Labour Market Intelligence Report for Northern Ireland 2010

Changes in the health sector workforce in Northern Ireland, 2007 - 2017


Notes: *Net Requirement is a total of the estimated expansion of jobs plus replacement demand.

All figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.

Source: Skills and Labour Market Intelligence Report for Northern Ireland 2010, Table 18. Data from Working Futures 2007-2017 based on CE/IER estimates.