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%).
- 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