"We're not producing very many more teachers," said Ross White from Australia’s Good Education Group adding that Australia as a whole, and using the state of Victoria as an example, is likely to face a massive teacher shortage.
Ross indicated that, due to Australia’s population growth through immigration the country will soon face even bigger problems, "We're going to need to develop more schools and bigger schools, and we're going to need more teachers,” quotes the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in a recent article.
To address a looming teacher crisis Australia will be looking beyond its own teacher talent pool to fill a demand for thousands of teachers every year for the foreseeable future. Australian universities are not producing many teachers and fewer high school graduates are choosing teaching as a career. This means that Australia offers huge scope for trained and experienced South African teachers interested in pursuing their careers Down Under.
Victoria alone needs 1300 more teachers a year to cater for the 90,000 extra students who are expected to enroll in Victorian schools over the next four years. The region, which has been targeted for growth, is already attracting more families who are taking advantage of special visa conditions designed to entice foreigners to settle in regional Australia in a bid to stimulate those economies. These ‘more inviting’ visa conditions are showing the same effect on Australian regions.
But just as Victoria, and a number of other states’, student population is booming, the number of school leavers applying for teaching courses is falling, and the requirements for getting into a teaching degree are growing resulting in a mismatch between qualified teachers and students entering the schooling system.
The situation is worsened by the fact that more than a quarter of teachers in the job are leaving the profession while still aged in their 20s and 30s and another 25 per cent are retiring baby boomers.
Australia gives special treatment to teachers at regional schools
The Australian government at both state and federal levels has undertaken a number of initiatives to try to attract teachers into regional, rural, and remote schools and to encourage them to stay there. For example, in the state of Western Australia, teachers can receive up to AUD $20,000 more each year and earn six months of "long service leave" after only four years of teaching (instead of the standard ten years). Some states also offer transfer benefits to teachers who have worked in hard-to-staff schools for a period of time, which gives those teachers priority when requesting transfers to a "preferred location" (often closer to urban areas).
Teachers are in huge demand in Australia and doing very well!
Technology, healthcare, education and construction are the sectors offering the “best jobs in Australia” in 2018, according to global jobs website Indeed.
In fact teachers with leadership experience came top of the list, in light of skills shortages at senior levels in the education sector. The average base salary for a lead teacher in Australia, according to the survey, is AUD $92,723.
Teachers in a variety of education levels are listed on Australia’s Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List meaning that teachers from all over the world may apply for an Australian work visa which will allow them to live and work in Australia for four years after which the applicant may apply for Permanent Residency.
Teaching Occupations which are most in demand are:
- Secondary School Teachers
- Early Childhood Teachers
- Special Needs Teachers
The Guardian, Education Week, Irish Times