Just six in every hundred trainee secondary school teachers in Ireland expect to land a job in the education sector in the months after their graduation.

And just over half of all trainee second level teachers believe they will be employed in a permanent teaching post within five years of leaving college.

The shocking statistics highlight the lack of optimism among Ireland’s young people in general and aspiring teachers in particular as the recession bites.

The new Irish government has committed long term resources to the country’s education system but those about to enter the teaching profession see no cause for hope.

The startling figures have been published after a survey commission by the Association of Secondary School Teachers ahead of their annual conference in Cork next week.

Salary and pension were not the main motivators for those joining the teaching professionals with the majority saying they opted for teaching in order to teach a subject they love.

More than 600 students currently taking the post-graduate diploma in education in various third-level colleges were polled by ASTI.

Many of those surveyed said they plan to change careers or emigrate once they are qualified while few will look for teaching jobs in Ireland due to a lack of opportunities in their chosen field.

ASTI General Secretary Pat King told the Irish Times: “Instead of helping us to rebuild our society and economy, our highly educated and motivated young teachers are being forced to emigrate.

“We are investing in their education only to export them at the end of it.”
King confirmed to the paper that almost one-quarter of those polled expect to be in non-permanent teaching positions in five years.

There are already about 7,000 temporary or part-time teachers in the Irish second-level system equating to about 27 per cent of the teaching force which is far higher than the EU average of 16 per cent.
King added that the uncertainty facing these teachers was bad for their morale and undermined teaching quality.

“Teachers need to inspire and motivate, you don’t need to be worrying constantly about whether you will have a job in September,” he stated.