Key points for selected other craft occupations
- In 2013, there were approximately 106,000 persons employed in other craft occupations, representing 5.6% of Ireland's workforce
- Approximately two thirds of overall employment was concentrated in three sectors: manufacturing (33%), wholesale and retail (20%) and construction (14%)
- Three quarters of overall employment was concentrated in three trades: electrical/electronic (33%); metal machining, fitting and instrument making (24%) and vehicle (18%)
- Between 2008 and 2013, employment in other craft occupations contracted by 6.2% on average annually, compared to the national average rate of 2.4%; with the exception of butchers, fishmongers and related trades, employment in each occupation decreased; the most rapid declines were observed for other skilled trades and electrical and electronic trades, at 10.1% and 9.1% on average annually respectively
- Over the five-year period, there were approximately 40,000 net job losses ─ the largest absolute decrease in employment was observed for electrical and electronic trades
- Overall employment in 2013 was the same as the 2012 level; employment levels for most occupations remained relatively static during that year
- Just over 75% of all persons employed in the selected occupations was aged 25-54
- Approximately 56% of all persons employed in the selected occupations held higher secondary/FET qualifications, exceeding the national average of 37%; however, 27% held third level qualifications — considerably below the national average of 47%; the share of third level graduates varied across the occupations: 42% of those employed in electrical and electronic trades held third level qualifications (within this category almost 90% of computer repair and maintenance engineers held third level qualifications); in contrast, the share was only 10% for butchers, fishmongers and related trades
- Almost 40% of overall employment for butchers, fishmongers and related trades was composed of non-Irish nationals — one of the highest shares among skilled trades in the national workforce
- The overall workforce of most occupations was predominatly male.
In 2013, vacancies were numerous for electricians (industrial), fitters, toolmakers and welders. Some of the vacancies have been identified as difficult to fill, with a shortage particularly evident for:
The strong anticipated growth in the construction sector will result in a strong demand for electricians, welders and other craft workers. While no shortages of meat processing skills have been identified, it is recognised that many food processing companies are experiencing difficulty in attracting and retaining skilled butchers/de-boners.
- tool makers – recent developments in tool making technology have enabled many Irish based companies to successfully compete for contracts previously outsourced to low cost locations; this, accompanied with the strong performance of the medical devices and pharmaceutical sectors, has created demand for tradespersons with expertise in making highly complex, regulated and precise tools; this has also been illustrated by an upsurge in the recruitment of apprentices in this craft
- welders (tungsten inert gas (TIG) and metal inert gas (MIG)) – specialised welding skills are required across many sectors, including, utilities, high tech and traditional manufacturing, as well as construction activity associated with the expansion of facilities for high technology sectors.