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Was there really a time when jobs were plentiful?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by jennybrice, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. Amongst the many reports of the difficulties and frustration of those seeking jobs within teaching are allusions to 'times when jobs were plentiful'. Having thught about this, I wondered if such a time really existed. When I left TTC, in 1976, I applied to ILEA, which accepted me onto their Divisional Staff waiting list to await a suitable vacancy; it was nearly three months before a temporary science job came up. After a couple of temporary jobs (Temporary Terminal Positions, in ILEA speak) 'falling rolls' had kicked in.
    Seeing adverts describing job shortges in the Health Service, I took a shortened nursing course for graduates. By the time I got my SRN, in 1982, things had changed and I ended up doing short-term contracts and 'bank work', which is nursing's equivalent of supply teaching. Only in 1987 did I manage to get job as a one year contract as a chemistry teacher, which was made permanent. A couple of people on my PGCE course gave up on finding a teaching job and went to work for London Transport.
    Was there really ever a time when teaching jobs were easy to get?
  2. I completed my PGCE in 2003, and while there were still 5/6 candidates at the better schools, schools where behaviour was poor and were notorious in the local area regularly didn't get any applications.
  3. I left college in 1976 too. We had careers people come in to talk to us about careers other than teaching as jobs were so hard to come by. I applied to dozens of authorities and was rejected by most as they had so many applicants. I looked into going into banking as maths was my main subject but was told I would get no credit for my college level work nor even my A level maths. So I'd go in at the same level as someone with just O levels. luckily I got a teaching job so never had to pursue it.
  4. I seem to remember that there was a teacher shortage in the 1950s and 1960s due to an increase in the birth rate.
    I am sure that they lowered the entry requirements into teaching to fill the shortages.
  5. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    Not experienced any job shortage in the time since I've been teaching, 1972 onwards.
  6. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    I graduated from Goldsmith's College in 1985. My friends and I went together for our interview for the ILEA 'pool'and treated it as a day out having a nice lunch (no alcohol of course) beforehand. We were supremely confident knowing they needed us and all got jobs. I was allocated a school but before I started the Head at my daughter's school, who knew I had qualified, asked if I wanted a job there. It was more convenient for me to work there so she arranged the transfer. Nothing could have been easier.
    When I left that school in 1987, a prospective teacher came to look round to see if she wanted my job, she had a choice of three schools. Of course, it was a bit harder than that getting a job 'up North' which is where I went.
  7. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    when i left teacher training in1977 it took me a year to get a job and many aapplications...in the end i gained a pool post in london and here i have remained!
  8. Pageant

    Pageant Occasional commenter

    I left TTC in 1974 and it was 9 months before I got a job and then it was because I'd done TP at the school where the vacancy came up. The head sent the deputy HT to knock on my front door and invite me for an informal interview! I got the job, no one else was in the running and the job wasn't advertised. No idea how fellow students fared other than one who never did get a teaching job.
    Over the years I've had a couple of TAs (similar age as me) who were qualified but had never taught because they couldn't get a job
  9. angiebabe

    angiebabe Occasional commenter

    Can't really talk about teaching jobs but in the 60's it was fairly easy to get a job per se ( but I wasnt a teacher then just a shorthand typist!)
  10. impis

    impis New commenter

    I qualified in 1977 but couldn't get a job teaching. I did other things instead for a while, then did a returners course in 1992. I still couldn't get a job, so did supply for about 5 years, before finally gaining a permenant post.
    Never give up!

  11. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    I left school with A-levels in 1980. (Got my degree and PGCE some years later)
    I think it was easier to get casual work then. I cleaned for an electric store and I stacked shelves at the library...both jobs would possibly be done by 'general' staff these days.... I was a classroom assistant and a child-minder and a private tutor...with no training, no NVQ and no CRB! ...I even had a stint as a dog-walker (most people would save the money today and walk their own dogs!)
    Looking at retail work today, a number of shops are offering only zero-hour contracts. At least back in the 80s Woolworths would take you on for set hours.
    After qualifying as a teacher I found it initially impossible to get work. Partly due to my age, partly due to personal circumstances and mainly I think due to the fact that I had no experience in teaching in a school. (I was unlucky enough to be on a PGCE course that placed me for the whole of my practice in an FE college.)
  12. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I was offered posts with 5 London authorities as an NQT.
  13. Pageant

    Pageant Occasional commenter

    I don't suppose that many of you know that ........
    In the early 1970s (and maybe before that) not only did students get grants but school leavers who were intending to apply for TTC could work for two years (no longer) in schools as a student teacher (TA) with pay (worked out at £8.40 a week) and get their teacher number starting from that date - which is why mine starts with 69 and not the date I qualified (1974).
    I don't think it was widely known even then that school leavers could do that but, by applying to the LEA it was easy to get allocated a school as a student teacher - not so easy to get jobs afterwards. I don't know when that arrangement stopped but when I started teaching, even though we had classes of 30 and above throughout reception, KS1 and KS2, (Infants and Juniors) there were no TAs at all until 1990.
    And yes, 'ordinary' jobs (other than teaching) and apprenticeships were (I believe) plentiful in the '60s and early 70s.
  14. guinnesspuss

    guinnesspuss Star commenter

    Came out of college in 1980 and it was similar to how it is today, lots and lots of applicants for each job. I think it was when they introduced the 'early retirement with enhancement' that things got a bit easier.
    They've worked out that they don't need to pay enhancement, but just pressure people into leaving now.
  15. I don't know about teaching jobs but other jobs were certainly plentiful in the early '70s. Often you could just telephone a company you fancied, ask if they had any jobs available and get an interview time there and then. No paperwork untill you signed on the dotted line.

  16. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    In 72 we were told that as long as we were prepared to be flexible about where we went there were enough jobs for all of us.
    Husband couldn't get a job with his science degree in 71 but did another course and moved 300 miles and moved into local govt in 72.
    The rest is history[​IMG]
  17. In the seventies, one of the problems with professional jobs, such as teaching, the Civil Service and the Post Office was that there was often a considerable delay between being selected and being placed in a job. As stop gap jobs were then not to difficult to find, many people just went off and did something else. At the time, their was worry over the PIT (Pool of Inactive Teachers); I think some of this was caused by people coming out of TTC, registering with a few LEAs and then being put on waiting lists. When the 'call' actualy came, months or a year later, many had started on different career paths and were no longer interested. I passed for entry into the Executive Officer grade in the Civil Service in 1970, but I was till waiting for a placement three years later!
    Certainly for ILEA, it was advisable to get on their Divisional Staff Pool, as even if you applied for a job in a school directly, you could find yourself pipped by a Pool teacher being placed, over your head.
    One of the reasons I went to TTC was that, at the time, salaries in 'proper science' jobs were miserably low. Many of such jobs at which I looked in 1972 -3 would have given me a substantial drop in income, compared to my SRC grant! Adverts like: Required: Post Docs, substantial experience of thin layer chromatography, proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and pilots licence desirable; £550 p. a. hardly appealed.
    In 1974, after getting my PGCE in Canterbury, I went through the motions of registering with the KKC pool, but even then, it was 'dead mens' shoes. I had actually registered with ILEA before I started my PGCE as the qualification was not compulsory then. This had the advantage that I was moving up the waiting list for a job while I was at college. I was lucky in that, after TTC, I only had to wait about four months before a placement came up. (I did get an offer of a placement at a girls' school in Camberwell but the letter said that declining it would not affect my place on the waiting list. I found out that this was a school, which had only female teaching staff. The men who were sent there did not seem to stay long, apparently!)
    Another poster mentioned people going off to work for London Transport; there certainly seemed to be a two-way flow of people between ILEA and LT. I am not sure how the system worked; but I came across quite a few people who had joined LT on some sort of management training scheme, but were filling in time between placements. There was one chap, who was doing part of a maternity cover in the science department who actually had passed his PSV test to be a bus driver. Now this man commanded respect, both from the students and staff. All of us, secretly or openly, were in awe of this skill, especially when he enthralled his listeners with his experiences on the skid pan. Apparently, he supplemented his income by being a relief driver, or driving coaches, in his free time. At this time, a bus driver for LT was better paid than a teacher.
    Forty or so years ago, getting a job of some sort was easier, so although you might have to wait for a vacancy in your chosen profession, you were not faced with the poverty of unemployment.

  18. Sorry. I was going to say that during the fifties and sixties, in response to what was seen as a 'massive shortage of teachers' many new TTCs were set up to train new ones, and these were busily pumping then out, so by the early seventies, there was the beginnings of a glut. When I started in the mid seventies, there were still staff who were 'Emergency Trained Teachers', who had done a crash, one year course, on being demobbed.
  19. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    certainly non teaching jobs in the 60/70's where more plentiful......i did a year in a department store before i got my pool post in an east london borough.Previous to this i worked ina factory making telephone exchanges..alas due to the loss of manufacturing, etc all the jobs have gone and all we mainly do in UK seems to be assemble,and retailing......plus the finacial sector.Dont think i was ever out of work much til the late 90's....strange thing was is was a Tory goverment when there was work shortages then!
  20. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I qualified in '89, everyone on the science course whether biology, chemistry or physics who wanted one got a job. many of us moved to work of course which we could as we were mainly young and unattached.
    I think maybe part of the problem today is that it is maybe more difficult to get a job outside of what you are trained to do. The possibly apocryphal figure at the time was that one in three trained teachers never actually worked as a teacher which I can believe.
    Those were the days when you got a grant and for many it was a way of extending being a student for another year while you thought about what you might want to actually do.
    As now though, you couldn't necessarily get the job you wanted. If you were prepared to compromise and work in a school that was geographically convenient but not necessarily where you want to be or a school you liked and moved to be there, then there seemed to be enough jobs around.

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