By: Simon Collins
A new $5000 relocation grant is proving a “massive incentive” for agencies recruiting overseas teachers, as schools reopen after the summer holidays this week.
Applications opened last week for the grant, which pays up to $5000 for overseas teachers and up to $7000 for expatriate Kiwi teachers to take up teaching jobs in hard-to-staff subjects or regions in New Zealand from January 1.
Garrett O’Dowd, founder of Irish-based recruitment company Teach and Explore, said the grant would be “a massive incentive”.
“Last year was our first year recruiting into New Zealand and we recruited 15, but this year we will go a lot more with 120 applicants,” he said.
Stuart Birch of Wellington-based Education Personnel said he also started getting enquiries within days of the new grants being announced by former Education Minister Nikki Kaye last August.
“There is definitely increased interest from both overseas and Kiwi teachers since the overseas relocation grants were announced,” he said.
“These grants are only paid out once teachers have worked a term, so no grants have been paid out yet, but it’s really sparked interest.”
Many schools have looked overseas to fill gaps in the teaching workforce this year. The new term officially starts today, although some schools won’t open until tomorrow or Wednesday.
The NZ Qualifications Authority (NZQA) said 350 foreign teachers applied for recognition of their qualifications in the last half of last year, up from 256 in the same period the previous year.
There were big jumps in applications from South Africa (up 47 to 74), Canada (up 10 to 23) and Ireland (up 8 to 12).