The associate professional and technical major group dominate the occupational profile of the sector (53%), compared with 15% across the whole economy. The largest workforce groups in the justice sector, mainly those in lower ranks who work at the front line, are all currently classified as part of this group.

The high proportion of associate professional and technical occupations in the justice workforce is associated with a lower share of managers and professionals, and those below the administrative and secretarial group. At UK level, 9% of the sector workforce is employed as a manager and another 9% as a professional, compared with 16% and 13% in the whole economy, respectively.

To a large extent, the type of public services provided by the sector, workers in other groups such as skilled trades, personal services, sales and customer service, process, plant and machine operatives as well as elementary occupations represent just 12% of the workforce in total, which is small compared with the 45% in the whole economy.

Those employed in the Skills for Justice sector are located in primarily two main occupational groups:

Professional and technical (54% of all employment)

Administrative and secretarial (18%)

Source: Employment and Skills within the UK Justice Sector 2010and Skills for Justice LMI March 2010

Occupational vacancies and skill gaps

Internal skill gaps present a greater challenge in the sector than hard-to-fill vacancies. The rate of hard-to-fill vacancies is considerably lower than across the whole economy, and the number of those due to skills shortages among these vacancies is very modest. In contrast, the extent of internal skills gaps is by and large similar to that in the workforce of the wider economy and appears to be more prevalent amongst managers and senior officials, but even more amongst administrative and secretarial staff than other occupational groups.

In addition to the technical and practical, and the customer handling skills highlighted by national surveys, skills needs in management and leadership, inter-agency working, ICT and in the area of equality and diversity have been identified. Third sector employers in the justice sector revealed a wide range of skills needs across the board, but more pronounced among volunteers.

Key facts in England:

Source: Employment and Skills within the UK Justice Sector 2010 and National Employers Skills Survey 2010

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Policing and law enforcement

Community justice

Courts and tribunal services

Fire and rescue services

Forensic science

Prosecution services

Source: Skills for Justice LMI March 2010

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Occupational roles and sources of information

The Skills for Justice website links to various organisations in the sector. These sites variously contain careers information, entry points, salary scales and details of work roles.

A variety of key roles in the justice sector are identified by Graduate Prospects and detailed information is available on law and armed forces and emergency services. Information on the various job roles includes: job description and activities; salary and conditions; entry requirements; training; career development; sources of vacancies; and case studies. Some of the job roles available: Police officer; Police inspector, detective; Prison governor; Prison officer; Barrister; and Solicitor.

The National Careers Service website also has detailed occupational profiles for some occupations in the sector under the broad headings Security and uniformed services and Legal services. These profiles include information on entry points, training, working environment, employment opportunities and expected annual salary. Specific occupations include: butcher; consumer scientists; and baker.

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