Table of Contents
Thank you for your comment! Once approved we will get back to you shortly.
SOUTHERN MAN IMMIGRATION BLOG
Teacher Crisis Worsens in New Zealand
In what can really only be described as shocking, the Post Primary Teachers Association (Secondary/High School union) has confirmed through a survey of school Principals that the teacher shortage has become so acute that one in three schools are being forced to cancel subject specific classes.
Furthermore the number of applicants for teaching roles has fallen to its lowest level ever.
This really is unprecedented and clearly represents a threat to the education of our children during, arguably, their most critical educational years.
The significant majority of teachers leaving their positions are not moving to other schools but changing careers or retiring, according to the PPTA.
Two weeks ago I provided the results of a survey which indicated that over 90% of employers are struggling to fill vacancies across 17 different sectors. Over 30% say they had unfilled vacancies after six months of searching.
With unemployment confirmed in the March 2023 quarter remaining at a two generation low of 3.4% and private sector salaries continuing to increase by 6%, it is going to become harder to encourage young New Zealanders to enter the profession and sadly there still seems a reluctance on the part of many schools to recruit foreign trained teachers.
In some respects Principals are making a rod for their own backs. It is not helped however when salaries in the private sector and across the Tasman Sea in Australia are higher.
I have never understood this seeming reluctance by some to want a New Zealander (whatever that means) or nothing. In Auckland where 42% of the population was not born in New Zealand our schools are full of immigrant children. When my own boys were at primary School there was children from over 49 different countries enrolled. I recall the Principal telling me when I asked why, given he was a superb forward thinking educator, he was reluctant to employ foreign trained teachers? His answer was that we are trying to create New Zealanders.
Struck me as really odd because I don’t know what a ‘real’ New Zealander even is any more and as an incredibly enlightened educator his comment seemed at odds with his own school population.
That was 20 years ago. Seems not much has changed.
I get at least half a dozen qualified, fluent English speaking foreign trained teachers every week contacting me about moving to New Zealand.
Mostly I explain that subject to registration, which in itself requires the equivalent of a Teacher specific degree and fluency in English, there are plenty of jobs here. In fact, far more jobs than applicants.
My advice most of the time these days however is to go to Australia because they are as desperate for teachers as we are. And you don’t need a job to secure permanent residence in Australia.
New South Wales alone is reporting they are going to need 10,000 more teachers by 2030.
The pay is better in Australia than in New Zealand. More importantly for those who are not rich (meaning, all Teachers) the prospect of having to come to New Zealand, apply for jobs, spend thousands of dollars in living costs before they land the job, waiting weeks for a work visa and then being told they have to work for two years before being able to even apply for residence makes Australia a no brainer for the under 45 years old Teacher.
The Aussies will grant them permanent residence within 3-6 months of filing their application. While it does take 4-6 months to get into a position to file that PR application it takes that long in New Zealand as well. For the most part, Principals here won’t offer jobs to anyone who is not in New Zealand and does not hold work rights. This is not to say teachers coming to New Zealand will not get jobs, overwhelmingly they do, my point is, why put yourself through the stress, hassle, cost and insecurity? Australia has thrown the arms wide open in welcome.
We are not making it easy for ourselves as a country.
I would add that the Teachers who contact IMMagine are overwhelmingly from former British colonies meaning their education systems are very similar to our own. I have called for and am gaining some traction to grant those working in occupations we desperately need like Teachers, residence before they get here. We simply have to level the playing field if we are to compete with Australia.
I’ve never been able to understand employers, whether they be school Principals or any other – who would prefer to leave a vacancy unfilled when the demand for highly qualified and experienced Teachers to move here is so great?
Of course pay needs to be competitive. Naturally conditions need to be as good as they can be.
A BEd graduate will start on $51,358 and max out at $85,490. A BEd (Honours) starts at $58,133 and top off at $90,000. A teacher with a Masters or PhD begins at $61,794 and tops out at $90,000.
For some bizarre reason, teachers are paid based on their qualifications, not their ability but that is another story.
As a second family income those maximums aren’t bad money at all.
If however you’ve been to University, done your degree, are single and want to live in Auckland you are starting on less than the median salary (in Auckland the median salary for everyone is closer to $80,000). Zero chance of being able to afford to buy a home on a teacher salary if you are single.
You’d have to be incredibly committed to take on one of the most challenging jobs and when our society seems to place such a low value on your skills, is it any wonder we are now seeing specialist classes in schools being cancelled?
Sadly for our children and our future as a society another reason for Teachers overseas looking for a new start is to consider Australia over New Zealand.
Until next week
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Iain has been working as an Immigration Adviser since 1988 and has been running his own practice since 1990. In 1998 he merged his practice with Myer Lipschitz leading to the creation of Protea Pacific Limited which was rebranded in 2008 to IMMagine New Zealand Limited...
Want to know if you're eligible?
Complete a FREE Evaluation
SOUTHERN MAN ON INSTAGRAM
- Ambiguous Policy (7)
- Australia (44)
- Australian Immigration (16)
- Australian Work Visas (8)
- Covid-19 (9)
- Economy (16)
- Education (4)
- Government (5)
- Health (1)
- Housing (2)
- Immigration (16)
- Immigration Guides - Australia (10)
- Immigration Guides - New Zealand (0)
- INZ (16)
- Lifestyle (30)
- Medicals (1)
- Migration (11)
- Migration Agent (7)
- New Zealand (56)
- NZ Visas (6)
- Opinion (7)
- Partner Work Visas (1)
- Policy Updates (9)
- Politics (20)
- Skilled Migrant (18)
- Uncategorized (12)
- Visas (25)
- Work Visa (11)
Want to know if you're eligible?
Complete a FREE Evaluation