University of Auckland and primary principals to host job expo

21 August 2017

The University of Auckland has joined the Auckland Primary Principals Association (APPA) to host an expo to drive teacher recruitment in the city.

The Primary Teaching Recruitment Expo 2017 will be held at Eden Park’s Level 5 lounge on Thursday 24 August from 2-7pm.

The expo will be attended by 40 primary school principals from across the Auckland region. It is estimated they already have approximately 120-160 vacancies across their schools for the 2018 year.

The University’s Dean of Education and Social Work, Professor Graeme Aitken, says schools have been feeling the pinch for a while now with vacancies that urgently need filling.

“We have some wonderful graduates who would relish the opportunity to get in front of principals. The expo gives them a great chance of getting a job and helping fill the vacancy gaps.”

The University is assisting students who want to attend the expo by setting up a temporary crèche at Eden Park and giving petrol vouchers.

Expo organiser, Auckland Primary Principals’ Association president Kevin Bush, has been a principal for 24 years, the last 14 at Te Hihi School in South Auckland.

He has already seen schools suffer with a lack of teachers about 20 years ago. But back then an influx of teachers from the UK, Australia and Canada helped the situation.

But this time the situation is worsened by the number of teachers leaving Auckland because of the rising cost of living.

“There are schools that are advertising four or five times and there are schools that have five or six vacancies in them.

“We’ve heard of schools where they have three classes split across two teachers and a teacher aid in there to support them because they can’t find a third teacher.”

“I know that there are principals beginning to experience this and are tearing their hair out.”

He says the situation needs to be addressed urgently by the Government.

“I don’t think that they’re reluctant, I don’t think they’ve realised the severity of the situation until just recently and they’re scrambling for ideas.”

Dr Fiona Ell, Head of Initial Teacher Education at the faculty, says the University was drawn to be part of the expo to give their 2017 graduates a boost to get a job in 2018.

“We have 220 primary teachers completing their study this year, this expo gets them talking to principals directly about jobs starting in 2018.”

Students, as well as former teachers returning to the profession, should bring their best “elevator pitch” to engage in short discussions with principals from a variety of primary and intermediate schools, an A4 double sided Curriculum Vitae including a short personal statement about yourself, why you want to be a teacher and what your personal interests and passions are outside teaching.

The Primary Teaching Recruitment Expo 2017 will be held at Eden Park’s Level 5 lounge on Thursday 24 August from 2-7pm.

More details are available here.


Anna Kellett, Media Relations Adviser