National Skills Bulletin 2021

A Report by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in SOLAS on behalf of the National Skills Council (NSC)

National Skills Bulletin 2021 - October 2021

The National Skills Bulletin 2021 is the seventeenth in an annual series of reports produced by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in SOLAS and the fifth to be produced on behalf of the National Skills Council (NSC). It presents an overview of the Irish labour market at occupational level.

The Bulletin aims to assist policy formulation in the areas of employment, education/training, and immigration (particularly the sourcing of skills which are in short supply in the Irish and EU labour market from the EEA); it also aims to inform career guidance advisors, students and other individuals making career and educational choices.

For the most part, the analysis presented in the Bulletin reflects the data gathered by the SLMRU across a range of data sources, including the CSO's Labour Force Survey; it spans 95 occupational groups and examines a range of labour market indicators.

Impact of COVID-19 on the Irish Labour Market

COVID-19 continues to cause substantial disruption to the Irish labour market. In 2020, with the introduction of public health-related restrictions on activity, at its peak in May 2020, over 1 million people in Ireland were in receipt of income support payments from the State. As restrictions eased, the numbers receiving payments fell; subsequent lockdowns saw numbers surge again, although not to the levels seen in May 2020.

For the most part, this Bulletin refers primarily to the situation in the Irish labour market during 2020 in keeping with its standard format of gathering relevant data sources relating to activity in the labour market in the previous year. However, where appropriate, and allowing for available data, the analysis takes into consideration the situation as it stood in the summer of 2021 to allow for swift changes occurring as a result of COVID-19; this relates primarily to up-to-date information on income support payment data.

Although shortages have been identified for some occupations in this edition, they are primarily limited to roles in sectors which have been largely unaffected by COVID-19 restrictions. As occupational data is not available for those in receipt of income support payments, it is difficult to assess the available supply of skills and/or labour in sectors which have been particularly impacted by COVID-19 such as accommodation and food, wholesale and retail, construction and administrative support services. In addition, those in receipt of income support payments, in particular the EWSS, are often classified as employed in the CSO's Labour Force Survey; the true extent of the employment change at occupational level will not be fully apparent until the income support payments are removed and restrictions in the economy have ceased.

To view the full report click here (pdf)


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