Teacher training programs to be fast tracked in Victoria to combat workforce shortages
Teacher training programs for both early childhood and school aged children will be ‘fast tracked’, the Victorian Government has announced, in a bid to fill ‘hard-to-staff’ positions in schools and early childhood services.
The $15.49 million initiative was announced yesterday by Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino and Victorian Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt and will cover 500 aspiring school teachers and 76 early childhood teachers, giving them the opportunity to boost their skills through accelerated Initial Teacher Education university programs.
While the measure is primarily focused on supporting schools to employ local teachers to work in hard-to-staff roles in outer-metropolitan, rural and regional locations, in areas such as STEM, languages, applied learning and specialist education, it will also help early childhood educators become teachers as part of the roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.
Those with an existing Diploma qualification in early childhood will be able to trim the three-year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education down to 18 months, with the first graduates from the initiative ready to work as qualified teachers in early childhood services in 2022.
For those wishing to work in schools, and who hold an existing bachelor qualification, the opportunity is open to complete a Masters qualification in 18-24 months through either an employment-based model – combining paid on-the-job training at a local school with studying – or through a hybrid model that combines intensive study with practical classroom experience.
This investment in initial teacher education removes barriers for educators interested in upskilling, but who could not otherwise afford not to do so, a spokesperson said.
Financial support packages will be available for participating early childhood educators valued at $30,000 to cover course fees and materials, as well as helping with living expenses while they study.
Students will be supported to continue working part-time as educators while they study, potentially earning around $20,000 per year. In addition, early childhood services will receive direct funding for each student to provide wraparound support and mentoring to support educators while they train to become teachers.
The Government will partner with Deakin University, the University of Melbourne, Australian Catholic University, Federation University Australia and Monash University to deliver the accelerated Masters of Teaching in 2021. Deakin University will also offer the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education course in 2021.
For information, visit vic.gov.au/teachthefuture.