Projects spark teacher recruit drive
The Department of Education’s Pilbara office is preparing to boost its teacher recruitment numbers over the next few years to meet a predicted steep increase in demand for educators in the region as construction on several major resource projects ramps up.
Developing liaisons with all WA university faculties of education, recruiting directly though prestigious training program Teach for Australia and working to reduce local housing costs are among the strategies being worked on by the regional office to ensure it can fill an expected rise in teacher demand.
Pilbara education regional executive director Neil Darby said the department was running a number of programs to attract teachers to the Pilbara. “As an example, the Teacher Flying Squad helps to fill short term teaching vacancies and there is an initiative to attract high performing final year university students from the State’s five universities,” he said.
“The Rural and Remote Training Schools project identifies high performing student teachers through universities, and then supports them through their long-term practicum placements in the region.”
“This support includes mentoring, onsite visits and assistance with locating accommodation if required.”
“Five teaching associates are currently at Karratha Senior High School and Hedland Senior High School as part of (Teach for Australia) and we’re hoping to expand this next year.”
Major resource projects recently announced for the Pilbara include the US $2.2 billion Koodaideri mine from Rio Tinto, BHP’s US $3.6 billion South Flank project and Fortescue Metal Group’s US$1.3 billion Eliwana mine, all of which are expected to begin construction in the next few years.
Together the projects are expected to create hundreds of jobs.