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Department publishes monitoring survey for Sector Skills Councils

Friday, 4 December 2009

The Department for Employment and Learning has today published the Northern Ireland Skills Monitoring Survey 2008: Sector Skills Councils (SSC) Report.

This report provides an overview of the issues connected with current vacancies, difficulties in filling vacancies, retention difficulties, skill shortages, skill gaps and training from an employer’s perspective at SSC level. In Northern Ireland there are 25 SSCs. These are employer-driven organisations that together articulate the voice of the employers of around 90% of the UK's workforce on skills issues.

Key findings include:

  • at the time the research was undertaken, 12% of employers reported having a current vacancy. The highest incidence of vacancies was reported by employers within the Government Skills footprint, where 44% of employers report at least one vacancy;
  • overall, 4% of employers in Northern Ireland reported vacancies which were difficult-to-fill. Employers within the Government Skills footprint (17%), followed in the Skills for Health footprint (13%) and Skills for Care and Development footprint (11%) were most likely to report difficult-to-fill vacancies;
  • over 90% of difficult-to-fill vacancies in the sectoral areas covered by Lifelong Learning UK, SkillsActive, Institute of the Motor Industry and Cogent are proving difficult-to-fill because of a lack of the required skills, experience or qualifications;
  • overall, one fifth (22%) of employers reported proficiency-based skill gaps; that is having at least one employee not able to do their job to the required level. The highest incidence of proficiency-based skill gaps among SSCs is highest in the sectoral areas covered by Semta (37%), People 1st (34%) and Cogent (34%); and
  • overall, almost three quarters of employers (74%) had organised some training for their employees in the previous 12 months. The lowest incidence of establishments providing training was in the sectoral areas covered by Institute of the Motor Industry (58%), followed by Skillfast-UK (62%), Skills for Logistics (63%) and Skillsmart Retail (64%), while the highest was areas covered by Government Skills (99%), followed by Skills for Health (97%), the Financial Services Skills Council (93%) and Lifelong Learning UK (91%).

Notes to editors:

  1. The full report is available to download from the Department’s website.
  2. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Employment and Learning Communications Branch on 028 9025 7872. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned