Christchurch quakes ongoing ripple effects affect teachers jobs
9 December 2011
More teachers are applying for fewer jobs as the effects of the February earthquake squeeze Christchurch's education sector.
Kaiapoi High School received about 300 applications for eight teaching positions recently and five jobs at Rolleston's Clearview Primary School attracted 150 applicants.
Kaiapoi High principal Bruce Kearney said he had not expected so many applicants but he noted that none were from outside Christchurch. In the past we would have had people from overseas apply and people from around the country. Kearney said the job market had already reached saturation before the February earthquake.
Clearview principal James Petronelli said most of the applicants were graduates or inexperienced teachers.
The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) forecasts a drop in the number of relief teaching positions and graduate positions available.
NZEI field officer Graham Jones said graduates would miss out. There will be a greater number of people applying for a smaller number of jobs he said. There will be a smaller number of roles and when those positions do come up there will be a lot of experienced people who will apply.
We've got young vibrant teachers with massive student loans who will struggle to find jobs. A total of 404 teaching students graduated from the College of Education in Christchurch this year.
The New Zealand Education Gazette listed 68 vacancies in Canterbury this week. More than half were fixed-term positions and many were aimed at senior teachers or middle management.
College of Education pro-vice-chancellor Gail Gillon said the job market would "definitely be tighter" over the next year or so. However our graduates do not all look for jobs in Christchurch. Their degrees are recognised nationally and internationally.
Canterbury Primary Principals Association president John Bangma said the effect of the earthquake was only just starting to be seen. It's going to get harder because next year we will have more kids who will leave because of the [residential] red zones taking effect.
Banks Avenue School in Shirley has lost 100 pupils this year because of the quakes and principal Murray Edlin expects another 100 to go next year. The big picture [after the earthquakes] was always that there would be fewer teaching positions in Christchurch Edlin said. It's really sad. I think that these graduates from university won't have the same opportunities and will probably have to look for positions outside the region.
Source: Georgina Stylianou, The Press