The number of teachers training in the Bay of Plenty has plummeted over the last decade, as the number of entry-level job opportunities hits a new high.

Ministry of Education figures provided to the Bay of Plenty Times under the Official Information Act show the number of domestic students studying an initial teacher education qualification (ITE) in the Bay of Plenty has dropped by almost half over the past nine years.

In 2009, there were 525 students studying towards the qualification in the Bay. By 2018 that number had dropped to 275.

Nationally the number of trainees increased 12 per