Biggest feat? To find a job

10th December 2004 at 00:00
Measuring feet was not on the syllabus when Rachel Miles spent three years training as a primary-school teacher.

But, after graduating with a BA Ed this summer, the 21-year-old applied for 30 jobs in five Welsh towns without success. No supply was available at the beginning of term, so for six weeks she worked in the Clarks shoe shop in Bridgend to make ends meet. She had formerly worked there when she was studying.

"If I'd known how hard it was to get a job, I would probably have done something else," she said.

"I'd travel a couple of hours if I thought it would get me a teaching job.

But there are so few in Wales. Whenever I speak to someone from my course they have all applied for the same jobs as me."

Ms Miles is on the supply register for Swansea, where she trained, and Bridgend. But St Thomas primary, in Swansea, where she does regular supply work, has received around 150 applications for every job advertised over the past 10 years. And a TES Cymru survey of recent vacancies found only one full-time primary job available in Bridgend, and none in Swansea.

Ms Miles is now looking for more part-time work in shops, restaurants and pubs. And, if she is not able to find permanent teaching work in Wales, she plans to move to London for her induction year, leaving family, friends and boyfriend behind.

"I don't have any real links in England," she said. "But if that's what I've got to do, that's what I've got to do."

John Howson, director of Education Data Surveys, believes that cases such as Ms Miles's may have a wider impact on recruitment in the future.

He said: "In a competitive labour market, why would you choose to train as a teacher when there is no guarantee of a job?

"The risk is that many people will be put off teaching altogether as a profession."

NQT jobs crisis 3, leader 18

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