Surprise rise in teacher unemployment

31st March 2005, Comments 0 comments

31 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — Unemployment in the primary school sector is rising rapidly, with many teachers being made redundant, the teachers union AOb has said.

31 March 2005

AMSTERDAM — Unemployment in the primary school sector is rising rapidly, with many teachers being made redundant, the teachers union AOb has said.

At the end of 2002, there were 3,900 primary school teachers listed as unemployed. This figure had jumped to 5,000 by the end of last year.

"It is spring in IT which has 100 percent growth in jobs! This optimism headlined on the front page of recruitment magazine Intermediar recently. It is autumn in the education system as far as employment is concerned," the AOb said on Thursday.

The union blamed what it described as "rudderless government policies" for the loss of teaching jobs while employment is beginning to grow elsewhere.

Improving the education system was one of the key goals of the coalition government led by Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. The objective was formulated amid reports that the sector could face a severe shortage of teachers in the next few years due to increased retirement.

The Education Ministry introduced schemes to speed up the training of new teachers and encouraged people to go into teaching on the basis that there was a lot of work in this sector while there were fewer vacancies in the commercial sector.

The AOb said the reality was not that there was not less work, but instead fewer vacancies in the education sector.

"This is because of cutbacks and uncertainty caused by drifting government policy. Schools often don't know where they will be in the near future and to be certain they don't take new people on," the AOb said.

But the organisation admitted that the percentage of unemployed teachers was 1.9 percent, far lower than the national average of more than 6 percent. But it also warned the jobless rate among teachers was rising quickly.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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