October 2015


The employability and skills of new teachers: main findings

Queralt Capsada Munsech - Secretary of the scientific committee for the Employers project

Ocupabilitat i competències dels nous docentsThe survey of the employability and skills of new teachers entering the teaching profession, which has been carried out with the aim of improving the match between the teaching skill requirements of schools and teacher training at university level, provides information on the assessment of new contract teaching staff by principals at infant, primary and secondary schools in Catalonia, including those in the public, government-assisted and private sectors. The opinions of the school principals complement the data compiled by AQU Catalunya on the graduate employment outcomes of Bachelor and Master's degrees in Education that lead to teaching as a profession.


In spite of the context of economic crisis and budgetary constraints that have considerably affected the education sector, in the last five years both public schools (60%) and government-assisted and private schools (91%) in the sample recruited new graduates teachers that either had just graduated or had little work experience. Although the data should be seen in context in what are exceptional times, this consequently means that information of sufficient quality is available for assessing the skills and employability of those entering the teaching profession.

One of the main findings of the study is that the average figure for satisfaction with the skills of new teachers was 6.8 out of 10. As can be seen from the following graph, the level of satisfaction with all skills was above 6. This result is positive and very similar to that of employers in the private sector, who rated their satisfaction with the skills of recent graduates as 7 out of 10.

Averages importance and satisfaction

Comparativa de les mitjanes d'importància i de satisfacció relatives a les competències


Although this result is positive, there is always room for improvement. The most noteworthy findings of the study that can lead to improvements in the match between the skills of new teachers and the teaching skills required in schools are as follows:

1. One of the most important factors in recruitment is the ability to teach classes in English Step up actions and activities being developed by universities that deal with the level of foreign languages, especially English, so that teaching staff are capable of teaching subjects in English 
2. One of the main difficulties in recruitment is the shortage of teachers with complementary training in order to teach different subjects Promote a profile for teachers that includes training that is, on the one hand, of a generalist and interdisciplinary nature and, on the other, consistent and thorough in a given field of knowledge 
3. Teamworking and communication skills are considered more important in primary schools, whereas in secondary schools more importance is given to classroom management and conflict resolution Take into account the differences in the teacher profile between primary and secondary schools and adapt teacher training according to the requirements of the level of study
4. There are differences in the rating given to the importance of and satisfaction with the different skills of teachers according to the complexity of the school
  • Put more emphasis on the different training requirements for teachers according to the profile of the school's pupils
  • Take into account criteria as to the school's complexity in the allocation of teaching posts
5. There is room for improvement in subject-specific skills (Catalan, mathematics, etc.) as well as soft skills (communication skills, IT skills, etc.) Promote a holistic approach to initial and on-going teacher training whereby curricula incorporate subject-specific knowledge that is accordingly adapted and complete for teaching purposes
6. Notwithstanding extensive hosting and training at schools, these actions are not carried out in a systematic or standard way in all schools Establish coordination mechanisms through the Ministry of Education to ensure that the hosting and continuous training of new teachers conform to the teaching skill requirements in all schools
7. Although the main way of cooperating with the universities is through school-based practice experience, there is currently no mechanism for quality assurance or to objectively establish equivalence between and across schools and tutors
  • Promote the involvement of the Ministry of Education so that an agreement can be reached between schools and universities to establish set standards of quality for teaching
  • Consideration should be given to an incentive scheme for academic tutors, schools and their teaching staff in order to promote school-based practice for students-in-training

The study was presented publicly at an event at the Auditori on the UPF's Campus de la Comunicació - Poblenou, which was attended by representatives from schools, universities and public authorities.

This study forms part of the Employers project, which is funded by Obra Social "la Caixa". The aim of the project is to obtain and analyse the opinions of employers and professionals from different branches of economic activity as to the quality and quantity of skills of the recent graduate population in Catalonia. Similar studies have already been undertaken on graduates employed in enterprises and institutions and the public service sector. Specific reports are in the process of being drawn up on graduates in Nursing and Medicine.

Scope Population Response Response rate Sample error
PDF Enterprises and institutions 16,757 1,325 7.91% 2.64%
Public service 66 11 16.67% 27.74%
PDF Education 2,822 281 9.96% 5.66%
PDF Medicine 606  90  14.8%  9.7% 
PDF Nursing 520  112  21.5%  8.4% 


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