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New teachers report job shortage

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/05/2016

Primary teachers are reporting a stressful shortage of jobs, according to a new survey.

An online survey of 374 recent graduate primary teachers, carried out by the New Zealand Educational Institute, showed many are finding it difficult to get their first teaching job.

About 60 per cent of survey participants said they were either employed in a fixed-term role, or a relieving role of less than three weeks duration.

About 50 per cent said the need to constantly reapply for positions had a negative impact on their teaching.

The union's new educators spokeswoman Stephanie Lambourn says there's a shortage of primary roles available that are suitable for graduate teachers.

She said while she was fortunate to get a job in a Lower Hutt school, many of her peers have spent a year or more looking for something more than a short-term contract.

"It's incredibly stressful to have that sort of job insecurity," she said.

Just over 50 per cent of survey respondents said they would consider moving to a provincial region to get a permanent teaching job.

NZEI president Louise Green said the Ministry of Education needed to make workforce planning a priority to support graduate teachers.

"It's a devastating waste of their time, passion and money to earn their teaching qualification but not be able to get reliable work at the end of it not to mention the wasted cost to taxpayers for their training," she said.

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