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Home > News > Improving the odds for landing a graduate teaching position

Improving the odds for landing a graduate teaching position

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Despite graduate teachers in Queensland having the odds stacked against them when it comes to securing a permanent position at the start of the school year, most will eventually find work.

This year more than 2080 graduates applied for less than 500 permanent teaching positions. Last year 197 graduates were appointed to permanent teaching roles and almost 590 graduates were appointed to temporary positions with Education Queensland over the course of the school year.

Official labour market statistics show a state-wide average of almost 20 applicants for every teaching position in Queensland. Primary school teachers will find it most difficult to secure work, with an average of 30 applicants for each position.

According to the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT), only 20 per cent of graduate teachers who applied for teaching positions in Queensland state schools in 2011- 13 were eventually appointed to permanent positions.

Teachers specialising in vocational education and training, secondary and middle years will find it easier to get a job, as will teachers specialising in physics, higher level mathematics and industrial technology and design.

The good news is that many graduates find teaching roles over the year as vacancies arise.

Early childhood education

While all city-based positions are easily filled, some sectors have difficulty attracting applicants, with more than 40 per cent of vacancies in regional early childhood education remaining unfilled. Labour market reports can be accessed here: Queensland / Northern Territory

Northern Territory graduate teachers

The employment situation is better in the Northern Territory, where registered teacher numbers dropped by 300 to 5710, with an average of just four applicants per position, according to government labour market statistics.  

The Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) has 98,000 teachers registered to teach in Queensland. Less than 64,000 are currently working (43,700 teachers are employed by Education Queensland and 20,800 teachers work in the non-government education sector).

The message for graduates is that they will need to be persistent, search far and wide and consider specialising in high demand areas such as maths and science to improve their employment prospects.


Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.