Trainee teachers should assess their strengths and understand the requirements of school principals before seeking jobs, according to a student affairs officer at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Wong Shui-wai, the assistant student affairs officer at the institute, said trainee teachers should equip themselves with teaching-related skills and job-hunting techniques to enhance their chances of employment. His comments follow the results of a preliminary survey held last month on graduate employment. The survey found that 72 per cent of 1,254 graduates interviewed found teaching posts and less than one per cent switched to other areas. The institute has a total of 1,304 graduates this year. 'Those graduates who are unem ployed and still want to find jobs in the teaching field can join the schools first and wait for other permanent jobs,' Mr Wong said. He declined to predict the employment situation for next year's graduates, but said the institute would provide more initiatives for students to improve job-hunting teaching-related skills. 'Though under the present economic situation, we have not found increasing cases of students requesting assistance for employment,' he said. Most graduates were more active in seeking jobs and had made good preparations for employment, according to the survey. Leo Lu Kwong-fai, the head of Kei Leung School, said due to the present economic situation and limited vacancies, the staff turnover rate in his school this year was lower than other years. He had received about 1,000 application letters for teaching and librarian posts. He said most applicants majored in language and history followed by music, arts and physical education. 'We've found a mismatch between what the schools need and what the institute trains. 'There's always a great demand for music, physical education or arts teachers. 'Candidates with specific teaching training at the institute always have competitive advantages.'