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WA schools look abroad to recruit trainee teachers amid shortage

The Education Department is so desperate to plug looming teaching shortages it is looking to recruit would-be teachers from overseas who have not even finished their training.

As well as signing up experienced teachers from countries such as Britain and New Zealand, the department is expanding its search to include aspiring teachers who would be able to finish their university studies in WA.

The department’s workforce executive director, Damien Stewart, said it was working on a range of strategies — including overseas recruitment of both would-be and experienced teachers — “to help meet the anticipated demand for teachers in our secondary schools”.

Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today officially launched the McGowan Government’s new career taster portal, visiting North Metropolitan TAFE’s East Perth campus to see the Year 9 Career Taster Program in action.
Camera Icon Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. Credit: Ian Munro/The West Australian

The subject areas in most demand include maths, science, humanities and social sciences, and English.

It comes before a crisis meeting to be held on August 12 for education ministers, principals, teachers and experts from across the country, called by new Federal Education Minister Jason Clare, focusing on ways to tackle the nationwide teacher shortage.

WA’s Education Minister Sue Ellery said there were several strategies in place to ensure an adequate supply of secondary teachers in WA public schools, including the final year pre-service teacher initiative, which enables students to work as relief teachers during their last year of university.

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