Country Idealist Profiles

Ireland – Employment in the Community & Voluntary Sector

Posted in Employment in the C&V Sector, Ireland, Ireland - The Third Sector by hynesbrid on August 25, 2008

Numbers employed in the Non-Profit Sector:
During 2005, the Centre for Non-Profit Managament (CNM), Trinity College Dublin examined employment in the sector and reported the figures presented in chart 2.  Among the 2000 responding non-profit organisations in their survey, the CNM found that there were over 64,000 employees divided across categories of full-time employees, part time employees and state-supported employees.  They also found that there was a larger role played by females in the sector.  There are twice as many full-time female employees than full-time male employees, four times as many female part time employees as male part-timers and 1.65 times as many females employed in the sector on state schemes as there are males
A more focused assessment of employment levels identified that there were approximately 50,000 people employed in organisations focused on socio-economic activities linked to promoting social inclusion.  In employment terms the 50,000 employed in the social inclusion section of the community and voluntary sector is equivalent to:

  • 50% of all those employed in Public Administration and Defence
  • 43% of all those in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
  • 43% of all those working in Hotel and Restaurants
  • 42% of all those in Transport, Storage and Communications
  • 20% of all workers in the Construction Sector
  • 9.7% of all those employed in Industry

The data presented in this note draws from a 2006 report commissioned by Equal at Work to provide a more detailed insight in to the Community & Voluntary sector in Ireland.  The report, prepared by Hibernian Consulting, is based upon data from previously published reports, analysis of content from various C&V databases and the collection of new data via a survey of organisations that are generally focused on socio-economic activities linked to promoting social inclusion.,9480,en.pdf

Level of Payment for employees within the Community & Voluntary Sector:

In 2008, the first pay and benefits survey of community, voluntary and charitable organisations was carried out.  This survey is the first comprehensive survey of its kind in Ireland, designed specifically for the C&V sector.  Its findings reveals a picture of a growing third sector with a high demand for professional skills.

Over 300 organisations participated in the survey commissioned by The Wheel (a non-profit support and representative body for Irish community, voluntarily, and charitable organisations) and sponsored by management consulting and recruiting firm 2into3 and .   Sonraí HR Research conducted the survey.

The Findings:

  • Ireland’s community, voluntary and charitable organisations currently employ over 40,000 full-time and 23,000 part-time staff, with volunteers providing the equivalent of a further 31,000 staff.
  • As an industry the Non-Profit Sector contributes more than €2.5 billion to the economy and accounts for 8.4% of GDP employing 8.8%  of the work force.
  • 82% of the workers surveyed were female, as was 85% of part-time workers.
  • 50% covered worked in the health sector and 30% in the survey are involved in development (including overseas development) and housing activities.
  • 23% of the organisations in the survey indicted that they have experienced recruitment difficulties over the past 12 months.  The main reasons stated by organisations as to why they were experiencing difficulties recruiting staff are that they could not find the right people, or could not find the right skills. 

“The sector has grown extensively in recent years. One consequence of this growth has been an increase in demand for specific professional skills and competencies. The research also suggests that there is strong competition to recruit and retain staff not just within the non-profit sector but also with the commercial sector. This survey provides quality information that will greatly assist individual organisations in their planning and budgeting. Repeating this survey regularly will enable us to track trends and see how the sector is developing with respect to other sectors of the economy,” said Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel.


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