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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Specialist teachers to ease shortages

    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008

    Specialist teachers to ease shortages

    More than 130 teachers are gaining qualifications in areas such as special education, industrial technology and design, science and maths in a bid to boost teacher numbers in specialist areas.

    Education and Training Minister Rod Welford said the teachers were part of a $600,000 State Government scholarship program to encourage teachers to specialise in areas where there were anticipated shortages.

    “The Bligh Government is planning for the future by ensuring we have enough specialist teachers to give young Queenslanders the best possible education, regardless of where they live,” Mr Welford said.

    “Like many professions, there is currently a dwindling supply of specialist teachers in some educational areas and in various geographical areas across the state.

    “The resources boom and shortages in key trade areas has led to some of our teachers in the industrial technology and design area to use their skills outside of teaching.

    “This is particularly being felt in some regional areas where mining and trades jobs are plentiful.

    “We also need teachers in special education, science and maths. Through this scholarship program, we are helping our schools to staff difficult-to-fill vacancies in the shortest possible time.

    “High demand teaching areas vary across the state. Schools and regions have assessed immediate and future demand to ensure there are enough specialist teachers.

    “After they finish their course, the teachers will be posted to schools in the regions which have identified a need for qualified people to fill specialist vacancies.”

    Mr Welford said the teachers were studying for a graduate certificate with the help of the scholarships, worth up to $6000 each, which cover university course costs.

    “These scholarships are further expanding Queensland’s base of highly qualified educators and improving teachers’ opportunities for permanent employment,” he said.

    “Some specialist teachers are expanding their teaching skills and other experienced teachers are specialising in areas of demand to move into a new phase of their career.

    “For example, some classroom teachers are studying to become industrial technology and design teachers to work in high schools in the mining regions of North Queensland and Mackay-Whitsunday.”

    Most teachers will be ready to enter the classroom in their new roles by Semester 2 this year.

    Media contact: Marnie Stitz or Emma Clarey on 3237 1000