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Ireland is winning when it comes to ELT jobs

Facing a post-Covid teacher shortage and classrooms full to the brim, one EU country has responded by upping the terms and conditions for teachers.

In Ireland, schools are offering from €20 a contact hour, with 5- to 10-minute breaks between classes and up to 30 teaching hours a week of work available in some cases, on a fixed-term, full-time contract.

And the work for teachers is on the increase. Unison Ireland, which represents EFL teachers, reports there is a new government programme for Ukrainian refugees being run in the state sector which is in need of teachers with experience of working with refugees or other vulnerable groups.

For teachers in search of a job and in possession of an EU passport (or even, for historical reasons, a British one), the Irish capital of Dublin may be the place to move. Further, to work in the accredited sector you absolutely must have a first degree and a Celta, Trinity or Irish Celt certificate if you are to have any chance of a job. You may be able to work in unaccredited schools there, but they have a history of collapsing over the last decade and at least four shut down permanently during Covid, according to  industry analysts Bonard. However, not one single member of the local association of accredited schools, MEI Ireland, has closed down.

But, before you leap on a plane to Ireland, a word of warning: most of the jobs are in Dublin, a city only slightly cheaper than London and with a severe shortage of housing. Language schools are running out of host families, while students complain of having to sofa surf – moving from one friend’s house to another – or even sleeping in their cars. Residential teaching jobs are rare and, again, stick to MEI schools as UK operators are setting up shop and running residential courses along UK lines, seemingly ignorant of the fact that Irish labour laws are much stricter, especially when it comes to working hours, than those in Great Britain.  

Image courtesy of Luciann Photography on
Melanie Butler
Melanie Butler
Melanie started teaching EFL in Iran in 1975. She worked for the BBC World Service, Pearson/Longman and MET magazine before taking over at the Gazette in 1987 and also launching Study Travel magazine. Educated in ten schools in seven countries, she speaks fluent French and Spanish and rather rusty Italian.
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