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Technology teacher shortage worries Nats

Colin King MP
National Party Associate Education Spokesman

19 October 2006

Technology teacher shortage worries Nats

A dire shortage of technology teachers in secondary schools threatens to make the skills shortage even worse and will have a serious economic impact, says National Party Associate Education spokesman Colin King.

A recent PPTA survey found that 62% of respondent schools had been unable to recruit new technology teachers.

This follows hot on the heels of a Ministry of Education survey which found that 20% of all teacher vacancies in secondary schools were in the technology field.

“The result of the current situation is that students either lose interest in education altogether and drop out, or they are forced to take on debt by enrolling in courses covering the basics they would otherwise have learnt at school,” says Mr King, who has responsibility for trade training.

“We already face the worst skills shortage in a quarter of a century. We cannot afford for the situation to get even worse.

“The easiest solution to this problem would be for the Government to extend the LAT (Limited Authority to Teach) regime to enable experienced tradespeople to share their knowledge in the classroom.

“I’m sure many semi-retired or retired tradespeople would love the opportunity to share their skills and knowledge with young people eager to pick up a trade - currently the LAT regime prevents them from doing so.

“We have no hope of solving the nationwide skills shortage without the right people at the front of the class. While ideally they would all be registered teachers, in the current environment that doesn’t seem to be possible,” says Mr King.


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