New Zealand’s booming migration and an increase in birth rates is contributing to greater demand for candidates in early childhood education teaching. If you want to play a role in the education of tomorrow’s workforce, now may be the time to make your move.
The latest data from SEEK Employment Trends show opportunities in the Education profession increased by 18% year-on-year.
The latest data from SEEK Employment Trends show opportunities in the Education profession increased by 18% year-on-year
While the majority of the sector experienced an increase in opportunities on SEEK, Early Childhood Education and Outside School Hours’ Care led the way for the three-month period from June to August. Prospects rose by 92% compared to the same time last year.
Janet Faulding, General Manager for SEEK New Zealand, says that although this figure is coming off a low base, the growth comes as no surprise. “Early Childhood Education is a booming sector across New Zealand with an increasing demand for more centres and places,” she says. “The NZ Herald reported in February this year that since 2008 the proportion of children enrolled in Early Childhood Education [ECE] has risen from 93.6% to 96.6%, while time spent in ECE has reached an average of 21.7 hours a week, up from 13.5 hours in 2000. Therefore, more Early Childhood professionals are being sought to supply this growing demand.”
Care for children
New Zealand’s population is growing at the fastest rate since the 1960s and experts predict it will hit 5.5 million by 2025. This is good news for candidates in Early Childhood Teaching. The latest data from SEEK shows opportunities for these rose were up by 27% year-on-year from June to August.
BestStart Educare is a leading early learning provider in New Zealand for children aged up to six years. It began as a single early learning centre in 1996 and now has 270 centres with 4,500 employees nationwide. Adrienne Rekké, People and Performance Manager at BestStart, explains the organisation invests in its employees to ensure they are at the leading edge of the early learning profession.
“We have a deep commitment to investing in the career development of teachers,” she says. “It’s important to provide professional learning and development both for new teachers entering their career journey and for experienced teachers wanting ongoing learning and development, so they can remain at the forefront of the direction of pedagogy in New Zealand. We believe that a focus on leadership is pivotal, and have developed effective programmes to support teachers wanting to have more leadership responsibility.”
Stuart Birch, Managing Director at Education Personnel, which provides recruitment services for Early Childhood centres, Primary and Secondary schools, says more employers across the industry are recognising the importance of training and development. “Candidates in the education sector are passionate about helping others to learn, so it makes sense that they also want opportunities to learn and develop,” he says. “I think more candidates are also expecting this from employers.”
Skills in demand
If you’re looking to make your next move in the education and training sector, Birch says you’re in hot demand. “He adds that employers value candidates with strong communication skills and who can collaborate with others. “You’re not just communicating with students, you also need to be able to communicate well with parents,” he says.
Candidates with great qualifications are sought after at BestStart, but Rekké says key skills are also highly desirable. “We look for a love of teaching and children, a can-do attitude, good communication skills, a commitment to cultural diversity and a ‘team person’ who is open to learning,” she says. “We are always looking for those teachers who we can see that, with support, will be able to step into leadership roles.”
Attention to detail is essential when applying for roles in education and training. “If you’re going to be teaching others, you need to make sure your resume sets an example of quality,” says Birch. “Read through it thoroughly for errors and make sure you do a spell check. Also, make sure you add in key results that reflect the standard of your teaching.”
Rekké suggests breaking your resume into sections. “Your resume should tell us:
- Who you are in terms of occupational background and experience, and what your values and teaching philosophy is
- Where you've gained your knowledge and experience
- What do you have to offer in terms of know-how and skills? What have you done and achieved? What in your mix of skills and experience makes you someone that would suit the role?
What kind of role, culture and challenges are you looking for in the next step in your career?”s your resume ready? With more opportunities in Education and Training, now may be the time to take your next step in this vital industry.