Teacher shortage looms as older staff retire

Changing classroom on schoolEven though Dutch schools need fewer teachers, the number of vacancies is set to rise as a large number of older teaching staff retire, according to a new report.

Research by the state-run UWV jobs agency shows some 7,000 teaching jobs will go in the next five years because of the declining birth rate.

Nevertheless, not enough new teachers are being trained to fill the gaps that will be left when thousands of older teachers retire. In particular, fewer people are attending teacher training colleges (pabo) and there will be a shortage of 4,000 primary school teachers by 2020, the UWV says.

Some 15,000 teaching jobs went between 2009 and 2013. There are already shortages of technical studies, maths, Dutch and foreign language teachers at vocational training colleges (mbo), the UWV said.

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