So where are the promised jobs?

23rd July 2004 at 01:00
On the last day of term all the newly-qualified teachers at a large teacher-training establishment gathered in the lecture theatre. When the guest speaker asked how many had jobs, less than 10 per cent raised their hands. My husband is one of the majority, and has now applied for 44 posts across the North-west. Total response: two interviews. No job.

When he decided to train as an ICT specialist he was told there was a shortage of teachers, especially men, in primary schools and ICT was a desirable core subject. This persuaded us (with seven dependent children) that the pound;14,000 to train was an investment, not a debt.

The true scandal is that questions are being asked in Parliament about 11-year-olds who are not meeting literacy and numeracy targets, and the "Use your head" advertising campaign is still running on TV. The Government should not be recruiting more trainees when there are not enough jobs for this year's graduates, and they clearly need to do more to reduce primary class sizes. In the meantime, we have a mortgage to pay and children to feed, so a teacher who has had a class of children burst into applause at the end of a lesson, children who, at the end of placements do not want him to leave, is going to drive a bus.

If there are jobs in places where a sufficiently large house could be bought for pound;130,000 we would re-locate, but there's not much optimism on that count either.

Carolyn Downs 6 Cumberland View Road Heysham, Lancashire

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