Key points for selected Administrative and Secretarial Occupations
- There were approximately 150,000 persons employed in administrative and secretarial occupations, representing 8.3% of total national employment
- Employment in the selected occupations was distributed across all sectors of the economy ― the highest shares were concentrated in public administration and defence and healthcare ― at almost 30% and 16% respectively
- Employment in the selected occupations declined by 4.6% on average annually over the period 2007-2011 ― at a faster pace of contraction than that recorded for total national employment; approximately 31,000 net job losses were recorded; the largest number of net job losses was for other administrative occupations (10,700), personal assistants (P.A.s), other secretaries and related occupations (almost 8,800) and government administration occupations (6,600)
- Between 2010 and 2011, employment contracted by 6.9%, translating into approximately 11,000 net job losses; the largest number of job losses were for government administrative occupations, other administrative occupations and P.A.s, other secretaries and related occupations
- With the exception of records and library clerks and assistants, at least 70% of all persons employed in each occupation was aged 25-54; the workforce of receptionists was the youngest, with 11% of all employed persons aged 15-24; in contrast, it was the most mature for records and library clerks, with over two fifths of those employed aged 55 and over
- The share of the overall workforce who held lower secondary or less qualifications was above the national average, while the share who held third level qualifications was below national average; the workforce of receptionists had the lowest level of educational attainment among the selected occupations ― approximately 15% of all employed persons held lower secondary or less qualifications, while 20% held third level qualifications
- Employment in administrative and clerical occupations was predominantly female: at least 70% of employment in each occupation was female
- Just over one half of all employed receptionists worked part-time; the share of persons in part-time employment was also relatively high for P.A.s, other secretaries and related occupations, at just over two fifths
While there are currently no shortages of administrative and secretarial skills in general, there are indications that some multilingual roles in niche areas (e.g. credit control, accounts payable, specialist roles in supply chain operations) are proving difficult to fill.
Most of the job openings for administrative and secretarial skills are expected to arise from the replacement of those who leave through retirement and other exits. Some expansion is expected as administrative roles will be needed to support expanding sectors (e.g. IT, finance, etc.). However, the increasing automation of business processes, underpinned by information technology, will negatively impact on the demand for administrative skills in the long-term.