Operatives and Elementary
Employment for the selected operative and elementary roles grew above the national average over the five-year period. As a result of COVID-19, a decline in employment is likely to arise due to expected falls in employment in industry (impacting occupations such as process operatives and assemblers) and the administrative services sector (relating to a fall in demand for cleaners). Many of these roles are considered at high risk of automation; therefore, a return to employment levels seen in 2019 is not expected. The availability of the future supply of skills may be an issue for some occupations, such as food processing operatives, while travel restrictions remain in place. See National Skills Bulletin 2020 for more details.
9.16 Operatives & Elementary Occupations n.e.c.
Overall employment: Approximately 180,000 persons (63% male) were employed in the selected operatives & elementary occupations n.e.c., representing 7.7% of the national workforce.
— Sector: 47% of overall employment was concentrated in industry, with the administrative services and wholesale/retail sector combined accounting for a further 27%
— Employment growth (5-year): Between 2014 and 2019, overall employment increased by 40,000 (5.1% on average annually compared to 3.2% nationally); the strongest rate of employment growth was observed for chemical & related process occupations (9.8%) during the period
— Age: The 25-54-year age group accounted for the majority of persons employed, at 74%; the share of employees aged 55 years and over was 16%, below the national average of 19%
— Education: The share of persons employed in the selected operatives & elementary occupations n.e.c. who had attained higher secondary/FET qualifications was 54%, well above the national average share of 38%; over a fifth of persons had a lower secondary education qualification or less
— Full-time/part-time: Over 76% of operatives & elementary occupations n.e.c. workers were in full-time employment
— Nationality: The share of non-Irish workers was well above the national average of 17%, while 71% of workers were Irish nationals.