Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Teaching: Lack of Full-time Employment

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 19th January 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Gordon Dunne Gordon Dunne DUP 3:15 pm, 19th January 2016

T6. Mr Dunne asked the Minister of Education whether he recognises that his comments some weeks ago — they were referred to earlier — which were that no one should enter the teaching profession in the belief that they would come out on the other side and obtain full-time employment, were negative and discouraging for young people who aspire to be teachers. (AQT 3356/11-16)

Photo of John O'Dowd John O'Dowd Sinn Féin

Several Members tell me that we are training too many teachers. I think that it was a responsible thing for a Minister to say. I made it very clear from the outset that I cannot and will not give individual careers advice, but I advise anyone who is considering taking up teaching to consider all their options carefully and to recognise that, when they finish their teaching qualification, full-time employment may not be available for them. That is a responsible thing to tell a young person who is considering a career pathway.

Photo of Gordon Dunne Gordon Dunne DUP

It is somewhat disappointing. From here on in, will the Minister be looking for part-time teachers only?

Photo of John O'Dowd John O'Dowd Sinn Féin

No. I will be looking to maintain the education budget and to ensure that the Executive recognise the benefits of maintaining our education system and do everything within their power, within a limited budget, to maintain it going forward. At least the two major parties in the Executive recognise those benefits. In the time ahead, I will introduce schemes relating to the recruitment of a new cohort of teachers. I most certainly do not want a system whereby we end up with part-time teachers. I want a system in which young people who are making career choices will have all the information to hand, and, when they make that career choice, they do so on the basis of being fully informed of the employment potential at the end of it.