The New Zealand Herald reports that hundreds of newly trained teachers are struggling to find jobs despite a 2009 government initiative to spent millions on attracting new teachers to cover a teacher shortage, particularly in lower-decile areas.
Students who went in thinking they had a guaranteed job at the end of their training are now finding they have nowhere to go, according to the Herald.
The global economic crisis is being blamed for a rise in the number of teachers staying in their jobs, meaning few new positions are becoming available.
“The number of school teachers leaving the profession is at its lowest point for 10 years, and so is the number of teaching vacancies,” TeachNZ manager Di Davies told theHerald.
Post Primary Teachers Association president Robin Duff said he understood about 400 to 500 newly qualified secondary teachers were without jobs last year.
One is Tara-Brock Sullings Tasi, who graduated with a bachelor of education degree in primary teaching from AUT but found getting a job was not easy.
“I applied for at least 40 to 50 jobs, all with ‘Unfortunately, you have not been successful’,” she said.
After months of disappointments, Miss Sullings Tasi left for South Korea last week and is now teaching new entrants at a school in Seoul.
TEU national president Dr Sandra Grey said the government needs more evidence and consistency if it is going to engage in workforce planning.
“In 2009 it created incentives for hundreds of new teachers, but by 2011 it was concerned almost exclusively with trades training. This year there is almost no mention of either of those professions – all the emphasis is on science, maths and technology. ”
“The government appears to be making short-term workforce guesses about what is important without any evidence to back it up other than anecdote. Then next year it jumps on a new bandwagon and tries to pick a new winner.”