No work permits for secondary school teachers

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SECONDARY school teachers won’t need work permits to get a job in the island if Tynwald backs new government proposals.

THE Department of Economic Development is bringing forward an order under the Control of Employment Act 1975 for Tynwald approval, which will add secondary school teachers to the list of jobs which are exempt from the requirement to have a work permit in the Isle of Man.

Currently, a number of groups are exempt from the requirement for work permits, such as doctors and dentists.

The Department of Education and Children has told the DED that the time taken to secure a work permit is leading to recruits choosing to work elsewhere.

Schools in England and Wales are not subject to such delays and can make firm offers immediately, taking on teachers who are still waiting for confirmation of their appointment to schools in the Isle of Man.

When faced with an offer of a certain post elsewhere or an offer of a post on the island that is subject to securing a work permit, many individuals choose the secure offer.

The government says there is ‘no evidence of a significant number of unemployed secondary school teachers who are Isle of Man workers’, so this proposed exemption ‘should not adversely affect local individuals’.

The DED said: ‘The DED is satisfied the exemption order is in the island’s best interests.’

If a teacher in an island school resigns in May, for example, intending to leave in the summer, the school struggles to advertise the post, shortlist candidates, appoint a replacement and then secure the necessary work permit in time for the recruit to resign from their current post before the May 31 deadline – necessary for a September start.

If that deadline is missed, the new teacher is committed to remain at their current school until January of the following year.

The problem is hitting secondary recruitment in particular because of the shortage of specialists in certain subjects.

Primary schools do not face the same difficulties.

More on this story in Monday’s Isle of Man Examiner.

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