More must be done to help new teachers - Berry

Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons
Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

More must be done to ensure that newly-qualified teachers graduating this summer are afforded a better opportunity of finding permanent employment than has been the case in previous years.

Independent Unionist election candidate Paul Berry was reacting to figures released recently by the Education Minister, Mr. Berry said he was concerned that without the real possibility of finding work in Northern Ireland many graduates would be left with no alternative but to seek posts away from home.

He said: “The picture painted by the Education Minister in terms of the number of newly qualified teachers finding work is not a very encouraging one. This is one of the key employment sectors in Northern Ireland, yet over the course of the past three years the numbers of teaching graduates finding permanent employment has steadily declined.

“In 2013/14 just over half of graduates were in long-term employment, but this figure has fallen dramatically to just 32% in the past year. This is a highly competitive field and it must be extremely disheartening for those who have studied so hard for their degree to find that there are diminishing opportunities at the end of it.

“I do not want to see the best of our local talent being driven away from their home and families simply to secure work. Our schools need a fresh intake of young teaching talent.”