Transition to teaching scheme gets thumbs up

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A new scheme to encourage top business talent into teaching has received a ‘thumbs-up’ from HR professionals with more than half claiming it will offer a range of business benefits from better Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to improved skills among new recruits.

The findings are revealed in an ICM survey for the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA). Transition to Teaching aims to target skilled people in both the public and private sector and urge them to consider a career change to teaching.

The survey of HR professionals revealed that the perceived benefits of this new scheme could cover a range of HR responsibilities from recruitment to retention.

Tackling skills shortages in new applicants is considered the primary business benefit for 58% of HR professionals surveyed, as ‘career changers’ can motivate and inspire young adults to enter business sectors with current skills shortages.

A further 52% think the scheme could be a useful tool when dealing with staffing changes and 50% believe the scheme could enhance their company’s reputation. 33% of HR professionals think the scheme could attract potential employees and 27% believe the scheme could improve staff relations.

Transition to Teaching encourages top performers from both the public and private sector, who are already considering a mid to late career change, to become teachers and share their skills in science, technology, engineering or maths.

Jonathan Ferrar, HR director of IBM UK, said: “The TDA research shows that around a third of HR directors are already involved in schemes that assist staff with long-term career plans.

“Transition to Teaching is a welcome development of this model for businesses that have staff with skills in science, technology, engineering and maths. By getting on board now, companies will not only build their reputation among staff, customers and suppliers, but can also safeguard the quality of recruits in the future.”

Employers already signed up to Transition to Teaching include IBM, BT, Lockheed Martin, KPMG, Oracle UK, and the Ministry of Defence. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has also backed the introduction of the scheme.

David Wilson, a science teacher at Swavesey Village College in Cambridge and former industrial chemist added: “It’s becoming more and more common for people to consider not only multiple jobs, but multiple careers – and this is no bad thing.

“The skills that you develop in one industry can actually enhance your ability in another. With teaching, having business experience has meant that I can talk about the real-life application of the subjects the kids are studying.

“When I made the leap, I did it under my own steam, but I can definitely see the advantage of having employers on board. The link between the classroom and the boardroom is essential to making sure the kids of today are tomorrow’s business stars.”

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