New Zealand has announced that it will need at least 850 new teaching staff to handle shortages in the coming year.
In a statement released by New Zealand Education Minister Chris Hipkins in October, the country said that 650 extra primary teachers and 200 extra secondary teachers will be needed in 2019 to meet a rising level of demand – driven mainly by a forecast growth in the number of students in schools.
“We know that some schools and parents, particularly in the Auckland area but also in pockets around the country, are concerned that not enough teachers are coming into the system, and we are determined to pull out all the stops to meet next year’s projected shortfall,” Hipkins said.
“We’re committing an extra $10.5 million, on top of the $29.5 million already announced since late last year, to ramp up teacher recruitment initiatives and increase funding for schools – bringing funding to $40 million this year to fill vacancies.”
While the New Zealand government has confirmed that it will implement a number of incentives to encourage more local teachers, in the short-term it has turned to overseas recruitment.
“Last week Immigration NZ, working with the Education Ministry, directly emailed 6,000 overseas teachers who’ve registered an interest in working here – to encourage them to take the next step.
“A social media campaign targeting this groups is also underway and a campaign targeting New Zealand-trained teachers working overseas will follow soon.
“The Education Ministry is working with the Teaching Council to improve the support available to overseas-trained teachers, including a focus on induction that builds the culturally responsive practices needed to work in New Zealand. ”
Hipkins said that it would be targeting countries with teaching qualifications that are similar to New Zealand.
This will include the UK, Ireland Canada, South Africa, Australia and Fiji, he said.
He added that Auckland is currently facing the most pressure.
“(The data) shows that 260 extra primary teachers and 130 extra secondary teachers will be needed to meet demand in Auckland,” he said.
Other in-demand areas include Southland and Queenstown/Wanak which are facing demand for primary teachers, while Northland and Tauranga are facing pressure for secondary teachers.