A survey led by teachers’ union NZEI Te Riu Roa shows that many of our new teacher graduates are still struggling to get jobs and are entering the workforce laden with debt.
Of the 374 teachers surveyed, nearly 60 per cent were in fixed-term or relieving positions rather than full-time, permanent roles. Of the 311 surveyed who had student loans, one-fifth owed more than $30,000.
NZEI’s New Educators Network spokesperson, Stephanie Lambourn, said there was a shortage of primary school jobs available and it was particularly difficult for new graduates, as not all roles were suitable for beginning teachers.
The Ministry of Education’s figures confirm the situation, showing that just 15 per cent of beginning teachers are getting full-time, permanent teaching jobs.
NZEI TE Riu Roa President Louise Green said the Ministry of Education needed to make workforce planning a priority and ensure that beginning teachers were getting the support they needed. Schools also needed to ensure that they weren’t unlawfully offering or extending fixed term positions to “keep their options open” when they should be offering permanent positions.