Why do we never see anything about this in the press? Generally we think of countries like the Phillipines as countries that export people, but Canada does it too. The shameful truth of the matter is that one of Canada's best exports is its educated populace. Canadians with BAs and BEd's are exported all over the world because they can't get jobs at home. Universities are basically training Canadian teachers and English BA's for export to ESL schools in Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Teachers are trained with BEds for export to meet the demand for supply teachers for schools in the UK and to international English schools all over the world. While I love my job teaching in the UK, Canadians without British parentage are only allowed to stay here for 2 years. Soon I will be returned back to Canada and bleak job prospects again. People who are not in teaching refuse to believe things are that bad for new teachers in Canada, but the situation is absolutely dire.
I don't think that many young teachers who are employed are actually leaving the proffession. In the current job climate I feel like people are hanging on tight to any job they can get even if the pay is lousy and the hours are bad and they no longer feel passionate about their work. Older teacher are retiring far less these days, so there are fewer new jobs for recently trained teachers.
Universities in Canada just care about the money they receive from students studying for Bahcelor of Education degrees. The enrollment numbers for faculties of education in Canadian universities do not reflect the amount of jobs actually available for graduates once they complete their education. There are thousands of students studying teaching, unaware of how few jobs for teachers are actually available for them when they get out of college. In many cities the primary and high school boards refuse to take any new teachers into their teaching pools even as substitute teachers. Many fully qualified teachers are working as volunteers or teacher’s assistants, (if they are lucky). There is a huge waiting list even for TA jobs. Even if you are accepted into the teaching pool by a school board, it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a job. It just means you are now eligible to be hired if a school board needs someone.
All schools hire through a pool maintained by the area school boards, like the TDSB (Toronto) or OCSB (Ottawa) however just picking people from a huge pool of available teachers isn’t always the best way. It is better if the prospective teacher lives close to the school and can relate to the student body in that area. For a new teacher to be recruited into the pool is very difficult. It is all about who you know. If you know someone in the school board or in the administration it is easier. All prospective teachers have to fill out separate lengthy applications for supply and full time teaching work just to be considered for acceptance into the pool, adding to the amount of time you are forced to spend in a pursuit that is usually fruitless. Endless hours are spent filling in dull applications online for no result. You never even get an interview.
I think a major problem in teaching in Canada today is the attitude of the teacher's unions towards newly accredited teachers and their unfair policy on retired teachers. Basically, retired teachers are allowed to draw a sizeable pension while at the same time making money as substitute teachers. Plus, retired teachers have an easier time getting supply work for a school they've already worked at as a full time teacher where they know the principle and staff etc. Young teachers can only get a toe-hold in the profession working supply, so when the supply jobs are taken up by retired teachers young teachers can't get into any schools.
I think it is a scandal that the Catholic School Boards in Ontario which are the only boards actually taking new teachers on, refuse all teachers who are not of a Roman Catholic background. Just to be considered for the pool you need a letter from a priest confirming your Catholic status. While I can understand this might be necessary for religious studies, I don't see why a math teacher needs to be Catholic to teach at a Catholic school. This is straight up discrimination based on religion and should be illegal based on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Why this is allowed to go on I have no idea, especially because everyone’s taxes pay for the Catholic schools in Ontario. My taxes should not go to schools that refuse to employ me because of my religion.