Record number of teachers joining from the private sector

The Flemish teacher shortage is concentrating school heads’ minds as the start of the new school year on 1 September approaches.  Last schoolyear 2,818 people took the decision to quit a job in the private sector and take up teaching.  It’s the highest figure ever: up 15% on the previous year.

Employees joining from the private sector can keep eight years of seniority built up in the private sector if they teach a subject like French of which there is a shortage of teachers. 

Flemish education minister Weyts (nationalist) says a barrier has been removed: “You don’t make the move for big money, but having to give up seniority can deter candidates.”

Eight years’ seniority corresponds to 300 euros a month after tax!

Erika Nassen, a physiotherapist, will be taking up a part time job teaching sciences soon. She’s a bit nervous, but labels this healthy stress.

Erika is looking for a feeling of belonging among new colleagues.  “I worked on my own, and after years that was starting to weigh on me”.

Mr Weyts intends to extend the arrangement to allow ICT teachers too to stick on to private sector seniority.

“Hopefully the number of people joining from the private sector will continue to rise.  More people are possibly looking at a new career due to the pandemic.  Many beautiful challenges await anybody wishing to help train young people”.

Last year 1,606 people left the private sector to join secondary education.  For primary schools the figure is 679 and for schools of advanced learning 228.   

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