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Mapping the UK information workforce

In 2014, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and the Archives Records Association (UK & Ireland) (ARA) commissioned major research to map the workforce across the library, archives, records, information management, and knowledge management and related professions in the United Kingdom. The research was undertaken by Edinburgh Napier University and completed in 2015.

An executive summary was made available in November 2015, and a series of fact sheets has just been published profiling the findings for different sectors and geographic regions. A portal is currently being developed to facilitate future access to the full report.

Key findings from the mapping are:

  • Estimated 86,376 people in the workforce: The survey estimates the size of the workforce at 86,376. Libraries employ the highest proportion of workers (59.4%). The two largest workforce sectors are higher education (21.6%) and public libraries (12.6%).
  • Significant gender pay gap: Men in the sector earn more than women. Of those working more than 22 hours a week and earning £30,000 or more annually, 47% are men but only 37.3% women.
  • Women dominate the workforce: The overall gender split of the workforce is 78.1% female, 21.9% male. The gender split of the UK workforce as a whole is 50.1% female, 49.9% male.
  • Women under-represented in senior management: Male workers more likely to occupy management roles than their female peers. The 10.2% of men in senior management roles is almost double that of female workers (5.9%).
  • Highly-qualified workforce: The workforce is academically well-qualified: 61.4% have a postgraduate qualification. The highest qualification of most of the UK general population is A-level or equivalent.
  • High-earners are more likely to hold professional qualifications than low-earners: 64.8% of the workforce earning £40,000 or more hold a professional qualification.
  • An ageing workforce: The highest proportion of the workforce falls in the 45 to 55 age band. 55.3% are over 45 years of age; the equivalent figure for the UK as a whole is 41.1%.
  • Low ethnic diversity: 96.7% of the workforce identify as ‘white’ compared to 87.5% identifying as ‘white’ in UK Labour Force Survey statistics.
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Also published on Medium.

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RealKM Magazine brings managers and knowledge management (KM) practitioners the findings of high-value knowledge management research through concise, practically-oriented articles.

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