Media release: 10 December 2012
All They Want For Christmas Is … A Teaching Job
New teacher graduates on the hunt for jobs have been flooding the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) with stories of a bleak outlook for 2013.
“Based on early feedback the outlook for next year looks like it will be especially tough on graduates who were recruited into teaching courses but who won’t be able to gain teaching jobs,” says Pete Hodkinson, NZUSA President.
“From comments made to us finding a teaching job for beginning teachers is, at best, a 50:50 prospect next year. In some areas the oversupply of applicants is so pronounced that as few as one in five expect any success. This isn’t for want of trying – of the students who specified the number of applications they had made, 31% had lodged 20 or more applications.
“All of the 193 students we have heard from have made huge sacrifices and a significant investment based on the promise of careers in teaching our nation’s children and young people. They are the ones who are the future of teaching in this country and they deserve to be listened to and valued more highly.
“The on-going tragedy is that they’re all being let down by a system that lacks genuine workforce planning and that continues to aggressively recruit without any alternative approach,” says Hodkinson.
Within the next week NZUSA will be compiling a report of the in-depth comments made by student teachers about the deeper concerns they hold, including criticism of the information provided to student teachers before they were enrolled and the quality of the initial teacher education they receive.
NZUSA convened a national Student Teacher Summit to focus on students’ concerns about a wide range of issues affecting teacher education in New Zealand in July 2012. Since then NZUSA has taken part in the yet to be released review into the workings of the NZ Teachers Council, and, through its latest questionnaire, has been given strong support to hold an even bigger Student Teacher Summit in 2013. This aligns with its collaborative role in assisting to provide learner feedback to government agencies.