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Ageing workforce means future teacher shortages

Posted October 13, 2011, by Louisa Veidelis

An ageing workforce in the education sector may mean upcoming skills shortages at schools and TAFE institutions.

The average age of Australian school teachers is now 45 years old, and 33 per cent of permanent school teachers will reach retirement age in the next five years, according to the NSW Auditor-General’s Report which examines employment trends in NSW schools (February 2008).

‘The Department of Education and Training is faced with the loss of large numbers of retiring teachers and their associated skills’, said Peter Achterstraat, Auditor-General of NSW. ‘While the overall impact of the ageing workforce is likely to be gradual, there is still a risk of teacher shortages.’

Many industries are being affected by the ageing Australian workforce, but it is expected to hit the education workforce particularly hard because the average age of teachers is greater than that of any industry sector.

Certain jobs, such as maths and science teachers, are expected to experience significant shortages, according to the NSW Auditor-General’s Office.

So if you’re looking for a new career that will grow during the financial downturn, now could be the time to study for that diploma of education.

Louisa Veidelis

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