10 September 2007

Teachers in top ten for New Zealand visa skilled jobs

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New Zealand school head teachers are calling the shortage of qualified teachers a supply crisis. The teachers' union New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) is calling for action after the Department of Labour recently included primary school teachers in the top ten highest vacancy highly skilled jobs in the country. British teachers considering New Zealand immigration should be able to take their pick of the many great schools.

The New Zealand Ministry of Education has announced new class size limits, with a teacher to new entrant ratio of 1:18 coming in to force in April. Head teachers are concerned this may also change the employment climate.

Principal Ken McKay, of Our Lady Star of the Sea school in the eastern Auckland suburb of Pakuranga, told a local newspaper: "I don't believe we've reached the edge of the cliff yet. It'll be as bad, if not worse, than the 1990s shortage. I think particularly with the ministry's expectation of the new ratios in the Year One classes we're going to be in strife."

Even in areas where schools don't have a problem finding permanent staff, finding supply or relief teachers is difficult. "Definitely with any short term week or two-week positions that you sometimes have with illness, it's very much a problem. It's not a concern anymore, it's a problem." said Mr McKay.

New Zealand needs teachers: Anyone interested in New Zealand immigration should complete the New Zealand Visa Bureau's online New Zealand visa assessment to see if they qualify for a New Zealand visa.

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