This article refers to a wider trend affecting not only the UK but most countries around the world. The shortage of skilled labour force in certain strategies areas, related to the quality provision of health and education, such as it is the case of teachers in math and sciences.

From the Guardian, form Anthea Lipsett ,May 7, 2008:

“the shortage of qualified maths teachers in schools in England and Wales is set to get worse, according to new research.

Figures produced by Education Data Surveys today reveal that only 2,000 maths teachers are likely to be trained this year, with even fewer next year, meaning there will not be enough trainees to fill all the vacancies advertised by schools.

An analysis of job advertisements for main scale maths teachers placed by secondary schools since the start of 2008 showed some 1,650 adverts by state schools across England and Wales.

With three months left for schools to advertise teaching posts before the end of the school year, the number of adverts is around 75% of total trainee numbers.

But once the needs of the private sector, those who drop out of training courses, and those who decide not to enter teaching are factored in to the equation, recorded vacancies for the first four months of 2008 exceed the likely number of trainees available.

Prof John Howson, who conducted the analysis, said: “Once again the government’s failure to recruit enough trainee maths teachers means that some schools will be short of properly qualified maths teachers.

“Parents should ask what the government is doing about this issue. All the focus on so-called poor teachers must not disguise the fact that the government has continually failed to provide enough teachers.

“What is even more alarming is that recruitment to training courses for 2008 is falling behind the levels seen last year and is well below the record highs recorded in 2006.”

The government must ensure that every school has its fair share of qualified maths teachers, regardless of whether it has to introduce rationing or use incentives, he added.”