NI sector organisations employ over 53,000 and 1 in 7 involve EU mainland nationals

27 Jun 2019 Dr. Helena Mc Elhinney    Last updated: 18 Jul 2019

NICVA’s latest Workforce Survey has revealed that an estimated 53,620 individuals are employed within the VCSE sector in NI.

The survey also showed that 66.7% of organisations (n=156) employ paid staff and 58% of staff are employed on a full-time basis. A number (13.4%) of organisations employ/involve EU nationals (ROI) and 14.3% of organisations employ/involve EU nationals (Non-ROI). In terms of gender, women represented 71.4% of paid staff in organisations that responded to the Workforce Survey 2018. The difference in gender composition is more pronounced than at UK level, where 63% of the voluntary and community sector workforce is comprised of females (NCVO, 2018).

Health and Wellbeing (56.1%), Community Development (50%) and Education and Training (49.6%) were the top three subsectors applicable to organisations in NI. The majority (21.6%) of organisations had an annual income of less than £10,000 and the remaining had an annual income of £250,001 – £500,000 (15.3%), £100,001-£250,000 (13.3%) and £50,001-£100,000 (13.3%) respectively.

Over one-quarter (26.2%) of organisations did not recruit staff over the past 12 months citing the most common recruitment difficulties as 'lack of suitably qualified applicants' (58.6%) and 'insufficient number of applicants' (44.8%). Of those organisations that did recruit, issues impacting the recruitment of staff included a 'lack of suitably skilled applicants' (41.3%), 'lack of job security' (37.9%) and 'short or temporary contracts' (34.4%) offered by employers. There were difficulties cited by almost a quarter (24.6%) of respondents in terms of recruiting and retaining volunteers. The main difficulties cited included; 'insufficient number of volunteers coming forward', 'work commitments' and a 'lack of suitable volunteers'.

Annual leave was the benefit respondents were most likely to offer above the statutory requirement (48.6%). The benefits that respondents were least likely to offer above the statutory requirement included overtime payments (7.2%) and shared parental leave (15.3%).

Many organisations indicated that they were funded under government contracts (70.5%). However, most respondents (60.1%) indicated that they expected “levels and sources of income” to have an impact on the sector's workforce. Additionally, over one third (33.3%) of respondents felt that withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit) would also impact the sector's workforce. 

All the results from the Workforce Survey 2018 can be accessed here https://www.nicva.org/stateofthesector/workforce