P.E.I. teaching job fair killed due to lack of interest
No job fair planned as school boards show little interest
The University of Prince Edward Island is not holding a job fair for new teachers graduating this year because in a tight job market few recruiters felt the need to travel to the province.
The cancellation is a symptom of the oversupply of qualified teachers across the country. According to the latest numbers from Statistics Canada, for every teaching position open across the country there are 10 people looking. That makes teaching the most sought after yet unavailable job in Canada.
The situation worries Kristen Rix, a UPEI student who has her heart set on being a teacher.
"Out of all the people who want to be a teacher, there's not a whole lot of opportunity for them anymore," said Rix.
UPEI has been holding a job fair for its education graduates for several years, but it was simply not able to put together a viable event this year. The dean of education said school boards have been cutting back on travel budgets.
Some students travelled elsewhere to attend a job fair.
"[It's] disappointing that we had to travel to New Brunswick to go the job fair to see who is recruiting across Canada," said education student Heather Cardy.
But Cardy said there was not a lot of promise at the New Brunswick job fair.
"It's a little better out west, but it still sounds like there's a lot of supply and not a whole lot of demand," she said.
The one exception is the North. Shelly Pepler of the school board in Nunavut has travelled to P.E.I. to do some recruiting. Pepler said Nunavut's population is growing and there is a demand for teachers. She's found it's easier than ever to attract Maritime graduates to teach in the North.
But she said even there graduates cannot be certain of finding a job.
"We're probably going to have more people than actually we'll need, which is a great thing. We'll have choices as well," said Pepler.
UPEI hasn't been tracking where its 75 education graduates end up each year, but has recently assigned a faculty member to do that.