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There are 112,801 people employed in the health sector in Wales. The sector accounts for 9% of the country’s total employment. Cardiff, with 14% of the workforce, serves 11% of the country’s population. Swansea, with 11% of the workforce, serves 8% of the country’s population. The independent sector accounts for 21% of the total health sector workforce.

There is 1 healthcare employee for every 27 people resident in Wales.

27% of organisations in the health and social work sector report vacancies. 24% of establishments report skill gaps; of these most cite problem solving skills, other technical and practical skills and customer handling skills as areas of weakness.

The health sector workforce grew by 30% between 1999-2008. Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 65,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

Workforce statistics:

  • 76% of the workforce is female.
  • 33% of the workforce is aged 45-54 years.
  • 94% of the workforce is white.
  • 16% of the workforce reports a disability.
  • 62% of the workforce is qualified to NVQ Level 4 or above.
  • 40% 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 Wales 2010

Changes in the health sector workforce in Wales, 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 Wales 2010, Table 26. Data from Working Futures 2007-2017 based on CE/IER estimates.

Health sector employees by local authority in Wales, 2008


Source: Skills and Labour Market Intelligence Report for Wales 2010, Table 4. Data derived from the Annual Business Inquiry 2008 and the 2008 Mid-Year Population Estimates (from Nomis).