National Survey of Vacancies in the Public Sector 2001/2002: A Study for the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs by the Economic and Social Research Institute

February 1, 2003

Authors: Gerry Hughes , James Williams , Sylvia Blackwell , Barra Casey

This report is based on a nationally representative sample of public sector organisations. The objective in surveying these organisations was to assess the incidence, level, nature and consequences of vacancies in the public sector in Ireland today. Particular attention was given to an examination of vacancies which public sector organisations consider are difficult-to-fill. The information was collected in postal surveys with intensive phone follow-up. In addition to details on the level and structure of employment, the report provides information on vacancy rates and where vacancies occur both by sector and occupational group within sector. The report is divided into eight chapters. In Chapter Two we discuss survey design, questionnaire structure, response rates and re-weighting of the data. Chapter Three discusses the size and structure of the current labour force in terms of sectoral distributions and grade within sector. Chapter Four addresses the core issue of the incidence, level, nature and consequences of current vacancies. Chapter Five examines vacancies which were experienced in the previous year. Chapter Six presents information on difficulties public sector organisations had in retaining staff as well as on their perceptions of changing skill levels. Chapter Seven presents basic information on training in public sector organisations and Chapter Eight provides a summary of our main results.

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