The latest statistic on the composition of the Northern Ireland Civil Service merit attention.

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Equality Statistics for the Northern Ireland Civil Service

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) today published a report showing a snapshot of the composition of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) at 1 January 2011, trend data, analysis of recruitment and promotion competitions, and resignation and retirement rates.

The key findings are as follows:
The composition of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) at 1 January 2011 was 47.6% male, 52.4% female, and (excluding those whose community background was ‘Not Determined’) 50.9% Protestant, 49.1% Catholic.
In general, the more senior the level of job the lower the representation of females. A similar pattern was evident, but less marked, in the case of community background, with the proportion of staff who were Catholic being highest in the most junior grades and lowest in the most senior grades.
Since 2001 the NICS has seen Catholic representation rise, and Protestant representation fall, by 6.2 percentage points. The largest changes have occurred in the higher management grades (17.3 percentage points at Grades 6/7 and 10.5 percentage points at Grade 5 and above).
The NICS has an older age profile than that of the economically active population. The average age (median) of staff has increased from 39 in 2001 to 43 in 2011.
The proportion of staff who were from minority ethnic groups was 0.2% and the proportion of staff who had declared a disability was 5.4%.
The temporary embargo on recruitment and promotion within the General Service grades (AA to Grade 6) has significantly reduced the level of external recruitment and promotion within the NICS. Analysis of the relatively small number of appointments (78) and promotions (86) indicates that the profile of successful candidates was broadly in line with what was expected across the equality categories.


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I am a regular contributor to discussion programmes on TV and radio both at home and abroad. An experienced political editor and author specialising in Politics, Security and 20th Century Art.

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