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Jaded millennials urged to consider teaching

A new poll suggests that many young professionals want a rewarding career.

Young professionals are being urged to consider teaching as a career (Ben Birchall/PA)
Young professionals are being urged to consider teaching as a career (Ben Birchall/PA)

By Alison Kershaw, PA Education Correspondent

Jaded millennials looking for a career change are being targeted to boost the teaching workforce.

Young professionals who want a job that is “rooted in purpose” should consider entering the classroom, it has been suggested.

The call, by ministers and the Get Into Teaching campaign, came as a survey showed that many workers are considering a lifestyle change, such as switching jobs, often to find a more fulfilling role.

England is currently facing a shortage of teachers, particularly in physics and maths, with the latest figures showing that the Government has missed its target for secondary school trainees for seven years running.

The poll, commissioned by Get Into Teaching, found that more than nine in 10 workers (91%) in their 20s and 30s are actively looking or considering changing their lifestyle, according to a poll.

And of these, more than three-fifths (62%) want to switch jobs or careers in the near future.

The survey, commissioned by the campaign, which encourages people to consider teaching as career, found that more than a third of those polled (39%) said their current job is not something they are particularly passionate about.

In addition, more than two-thirds (68%) said they are likely to make a major change to their career in the near future.

Almost half of those questioned (44%) said they would switch jobs before they turn 40 in order to have a more rewarding career, while a similar proportion (41%) want better long-term prospects,

And more than two-thirds (68%) said that, if they were looking for a more fulfilling role in the future, teaching is something that could provide this.

Nearly half (48%) agreed that teaching is a rewarding profession, while 46% think it is a career where you are continually learning and developing.

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School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said anyone who wants a career that can have a “real impact” should consider teaching (John Stillwell/PA)

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “There’s never been a better time to become a teacher – this year we have announced a 2.75% pay rise for teachers, alongside outlining plans for starting salaries to rise to £30,000 by 2022-23.

“I would urge anyone interested in a career where they can have a real impact on the lives of children to consider joining the thousands of dedicated teachers working in our classrooms.”

Roger Pope, spokesman for the Get Into Teaching campaign, said: “This research highlights the importance to young professionals of being in a rewarding role they feel passionate about and how they want to make a change and forge a new career path before they reach their 40th birthday.

“This is where teaching comes into its own – particularly for those who are looking for a career that is rooted in purpose and that can provide fulfilment and long-term prospects.”

Official statistics for England, published in November, showed that, while there had been a rise in the numbers signing up to train to teach, many targets for individual subjects and school level, set by the Government, were missed.

The data showed that 85% of the overall target for secondary subject trainees was reached – the seventh consecutive year that the goal was missed.

At primary level, 96% of the target was reached.

Subject targets missed included those for maths, physics, chemistry, computing and modern foreign languages.

Targets for English, geography, history and biology trainees were exceeded.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said: “Teachers are graduates who have many career choices open to them. They go into teaching with passion, because they care and want to make a difference, but we have to treat them well and respect their need for a work-life balance if we expect them to stay.”

– The survey questioned 2,017 people in England aged 21-40 between October 29 and November 13.

PA

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