A $10 million recruitment blitz will be rolled out in a bid to boost the number of teachers across the nation.
The new advertising campaign, called Be That Teacher, will shine the spotlight on eight school teachers from around Australia, in order to encourage more people to take up the profession.
The campaign will be rolled out from Wednesday until April 2024 and is a joint initiative of federal, state and territory governments.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said while there were 300,000 teachers already practising, there was always a need for more in the classroom.
“Teachers play a role … not just in the educational attainment and the professions and careers that people might take, they play a role in shaping young people as well,” he said while launching the campaign in Sydney on Tuesday.
“What we need today is more of them, we need more teachers and we need to celebrate and value the profession of teaching for the extraordinary profession that it does.”
The campaign focuses on the impact teachers make on the lives of their students.
“There is not another profession that touches the human soul as this does,” said Kerri-Ann Lacey, one of the teachers featuring in the campaign.
Mr Albanese said the campaign was never going to focus on pay rates.
“What it’s aimed at doing is if you look at a fulfilling life where you’re making a difference, that’s part of the equation as well,” he said.
Education Minister Jason Clare said the campaign was needed following large numbers of people leaving the profession.
“Being a teacher is the most important job in the world, and we don’t have enough of them,” he said.
“There are lots of reasons for that – part of it’s pay, part of it’s workload, part of it’s respect.
“When you survey teachers, most teachers will tell you that they don’t feel valued by their community, and we need to change that.”
The campaign was a positive step forward, Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson said.
“During meetings of last year’s working group on the national teacher workforce action plan, we heard again and again how important it is to recognise and celebrate teachers,” Ms Jackson said.
“It’s time to stop bagging teachers.
“Anything we can do to reinforce and celebrate their value is vital, while encouraging more people to become teachers.
“We need more teachers in every pocket of the country.”
(Australian Associated Press)