Belfast Telegraph

Most new teachers fail to find job

Less than half of the 735 teachers who qualified last year have found a permanent job, Education Minister Caitriona Ruane has said.

But the minister told the Assembly she did not believe that promising newly trained teachers a one-year post at schools would help tackle unemployment in the sector.

The Sinn Fein minister said other action had been taken to tackle the issue, while many teaching graduates had secured employment as substitute teachers.

Ms Ruane said 735 teachers qualified in 2009, but while many had yet to find a teaching post, she did not support a policy introduced in Scotland to guarantee an induction year for new teachers.

"Of those 735, 293 secured a permanent teaching post. In addition a further 320 have worked in a substitute capacity since graduation.

"Of the 2008 cohort of 805," the minister added, "389 secured a permanent post, and a further 182 have worked in a substitute capacity."

The DUP East Antrim MLA Alastair Ross said the issue of unemployment among new teachers could be eased with the introduction of an induction year.

But Ms Ruane said studies of the Scottish experience of the same policy suggested it could be costly and may not be effective.

"It would be very expensive for this Assembly or for my department to bring in an induction year. There are better ways of using resources," said the minister.

"Some of the areas we have looked at, we have reduced the number of places by 25% of teacher training places, and of the young people that are getting teacher training places, what we have done is we have ring-fenced teacher training places for areas where we don't have enough teachers - in the area of Irish medium, because it is a very growing sector, in the area of special educational needs ... and also looking at particular subjects like science and mathematics."

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