New Zealand overseas teacher recruitment drive proving successful

New Zealand’s Ministry of Education has revealed that 550 overseas teachers are already eligible to be hired by schools, following the launch of an international recruitment drive last month.

Ministry recruiters have received around 3,000 applications from overseas teachers and hundreds are already being moved through the recruitment pipeline.

The overseas campaign is one of a range of recruitment initiatives to add to the pool of 70,000 teachers across 2,500 state or state-integrated primary and secondary schools.

“Our recruitment drive to attract teachers to New Zealand is already helping to cover the extra 850 primary and secondary teachers we need for 2019,” said Ellen MacGregor-Reid, the Ministry of Education’s Deputy Secretary for Early Learning and Student Achievement.

“These overseas teachers are supplementing our locally trained workforce, while we continue to encourage more New Zealanders to train or return to teaching, and overseas Kiwis to come home to our classrooms.”

Already, 100 job offers have been made to teachers coming from overseas – including teachers from the United Kingdom, South Africa, the United States and Canada.

“Every overseas teacher will meet all the existing standards here for teaching qualifications, registration with the Teaching Council, and immigration requirements,” MacGregor-Reid added.

However, a spokesperson for the New Zealand principals’ association has called the drive little more than a ‘band aid’.

Auckland Secondary School Principals Association’s vice president Richard Dykes told NZ’s Morning Report program that while the recruitment was a tangible response to shortage crisis and would “make a lot of principals sleep a lot easier,” he also voiced concerns about the fact the Ministry of Education gave no indication of the quality of teachers recruited and said a lack of cultural understanding of Pasifika and Māori students was problematic.

The New Zealand Education Institution also welcomed the new recruits, but warned that they doubted whether the teachers would stay long, unless improvements to teacher workloads are made.

Article published 15th November 2018