There are dwindling numbers of young, Irish teachers in the classroom, with nearly half currently out of work.
As the Irish News explains, older staff remaining in the profession for longer and limited job openings are among the factors blamed for the ageing profession.
Only around one in ten Irish teachers are aged 30 or under, shows data from the General Teaching Council, while the number of registered teachers aged 65 is on the rise. This is a stark contrast to the British average in which teachers aged under 30 are up by 1.9% since 2010 and make up a full quarter of the teaching workforce while over 50s have dropped by 6% and make up only 15.6% of the teaching workforce. (NAHT workforce survey)
A multi-million pound initiative to replace hundreds of teachers nearing retirement with younger staff has been launched in a bid to reverse the decline.
According to the Council’s data, there were 3,926 teachers aged under 30 on the register in March 2017 – of whom, only 2,135 were actually teaching.
The proportion of registered 24-29 year-olds dropped for the fourth consecutive row; the percentage stood at 14.7%, down from 16.1% in 2013.
The Investing in the Teaching Workforce Scheme is hoped to boost the number of young staff in the profession, with 500 recently-qualified graduates replacing older staff willing to retire early.
Young teachers moving abroad
Interestingly, another article on the Irish Sun reveals how many young Irish graduates are packing their cases and moving abroad to teach.
Citing career consultant and interview coach Orla Donagher, young professionals are attracted by the packages offered by schools and companies abroad.
Ann-Marie Somers decided to move to Dubai from Ireland in 2016 in order to broaden her horizons and travel.
“The starting salary offered in Dubai exceeded the salary that I was receiving in Ireland and also included accommodation, annual flights home and medical insurance, as well as guaranteed sunshine all year round.”
She admitted that she misses Ireland, but said: “[There’s] a huge Irish expat community here. I never really feel like I’m away from home, thanks to Skype and Facebook.
“There are plenty of Irish events hosted in Irish venues, especially around St Patrick’s Day.”
Ann-Marie plans to stay teaching in the country for at least another year, as she feels Dubai has so much to offer.
“There are very few countries in the world which offer teachers the opportunity to travel while also guaranteeing employment upon returning home.”
Do you have itchy feet? Find out what amazing opportunities are out there by searching the Eteach International job board today.