​Education Recruitment Trends in 2024

December 2023 by Tradewind Australia

Education Recruitment Trends In 2024 Featured Prf2

The Australian education system continues to face a critical shortage of primary and secondary teachers. Despite government intervention, there is an ongoing need for schools to implement specific measures if they want to secure the best talent in the market. 

In this blog, we talk through the biggest recruitment trends for 2024, focusing on how to attract and retain top teachers.

Ongoing Shortage of Primary and Secondary Teachers

According to the Federal Education Minister, Jason Clare, “Fewer young people are enrolling to become teachers and more and more teachers are thinking of leaving”.

This combination has continued to exacerbate the already acute teacher shortage across Australia. A recent survey in NSW shows that almost 10,000 lessons are happening without adequate educational support in public schools every day. Other reports have shown Australian students are shunning education degrees, with university first preferences dropping almost 20% compared to the previous year.

The good news is that the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan has identified a number of priority areas to attract more people into the profession and retain the existing education workforce. To date, initiatives include scholarships of up to $40,000 for undergraduate teacher education.

Other priorities of the NTWAP include reducing unnecessary workloads, developing career pathways and freeing up teachers to focus on core teaching tasks and collaboration. We may have some way to go in addressing current talent retention issues, but this is an important starting point.

Teacher Salaries

According to the Australian Financial Review, Australian teachers are among the best-paid globally, ranking fifth in the OECD after Luxembourg, Germany, Canada and the Netherlands. However, teachers remain one of the lowest-paid professions in the country and have experienced a 30-year decline in salary compared to the average of all professionals.

In New South Wales, teachers have recently received a boost to their salary with the starting pay increasing from $75,791 to $85,000 and the salary for a top of the scale teacher increasing from $113,042 to $122,100. It will be interesting to see if other states follow suit and increase salaries across the board as a way to secure the best talent in their geographic area.

Demand for More Flexibility

In the world of education, there's a growing desire for teachers to have more flexibility. However, unlike other industries in Australia, it's tougher to make this happen for teaching jobs because of issues around staffing structure, timetabling and fixed working hours.

However, there are opportunities for schools to take a closer look at ways to help teachers work in a more flexible way. This includes the ability to do their preparation work from home rather than the classroom, phased working hours when returning after maternity leave, phased retirement and sabbaticals.

Providing this flexibility is going to be a key factor when attracting and retaining teachers at your school. Those who adapt to these changes will not only keep great teachers but also stand out as top places to work.

Changing the Narrative

Young people relatively new to the workplace consistently rank having a job that is meaningful and makes a difference as essential. In a recent survey, 30% of participants aged 18-24 years rated it “very important” equal to flexible hours and job security.

With this in mind, there is an opportunity to use meaningful work as a focus point to attract new teachers into the industry and retain existing talent. A new national advertising campaign, Be That Teacher, aims to showcase the value and importance of teachers.

This kind of narrative can be used by Hiring Managers and Recruiters when promoting vacancies at their schools and offset some of the existing perceptions that school teachers are stressed and burned out.

Improved Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

A report by Melbourne University identified a lack of diversity within the teaching profession when compared with other sectors in Australia. Some key statistics include:

  • Only 1% of teachers report a disability – compared with 18% of the population.

  • Just 17% were born overseas compared with 34% of all Australians.

  • Less than 1% identify as Indigenous compared with 3% of the population.

  • People from low socio-economic backgrounds are also under-represented in the teaching workforce.

Having teachers from diverse backgrounds would not only enhance students’ cultural awareness and help shift negative perceptions of minority groups, it could also help address teaching shortages, particularly in rural and disadvantaged schools.

The study suggests that teachers from minority groups are more likely to stay in hard-to-staff schools and to build powerful community connections.

Get in Touch with the Education Recruitment Specialists

Are you looking to start 2024 with rewarding teaching opportunities or need to fill teaching jobs in your school? Our team here at Tradewind Recruitment are tapped into the education sector across the country and can help you make informed decisions to achieve your goals in the New Year. Contact our friendly team today to get started!