Millennials in crisis think teaching could save them

Poll carried out by Get Into Teaching reveals majority of jaded millennials looking for a career change see teaching as the answer

Tes Reporter

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A new survey has found that more than two-thirds of millennials considering a career change think teaching could provide them with a more fulfilling job.

Young professionals who find themselves wanting a job more "rooted in purpose" as they approach major age milestones are being urged to get into the classroom.

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The survey – conducted by Get Into Teaching – of 2,000 professionals aged between 21 and 40 found that 67 per cent of the millennial workforce was likely to change career in the near future.

And more than nine in 10 workers – 91 per cent – in their 20s and 30s are actively looking or considering changing their lifestyle, according to the poll.

Of those considering a career change, more than two-thirds – 69 per cent – agreed that teaching could be a more fulfilling job for them.

The survey found that many young professionals are dissatisfied with their current roles. Nearly half – 44 per cent – said their desire for a more rewarding career would make them consider a career change before their 40th birthday.

And more than a third of those polled said their current job is not something they are particularly passionate about.

England is currently facing a shortage of teachers, especially in Stem subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths), with the latest figures showing that the government has missed its target for secondary school trainees for seven years running.

Nearly half of those surveyed – 48 per cent – agreed that teaching is a rewarding profession, while 46 per cent agreed the job enables people to learn and develop throughout their careers.

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 per cent 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, spokesperson 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."

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, said: "Teaching can be and should be the most fulfilling career imaginable. Everyone should want to be a teacher.

"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 need to drastically improve the retention rates for teachers. If we expect career changers and new teachers to stay in the profession more is needed to create a truly positive and sustainable long-term career proposition."

The sentiments expressed in the survey are not yet translating into sufficient numbers of trainee teachers. 

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 per cent of the overall target for secondary subject trainees was reached – the seventh consecutive year that the goal was missed.

At primary level, 96 per cent 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.

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