From tradie to teacher

Friday, 09 September, 2022

From tradie to teacher

A $10 million pilot program to boost the number of industrial technology and design (ITD) teachers has been announced by the Queensland Government.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the Trade to Teach Internship pilot program, which forms part of the government’s Workforce Strategy, will see tradies receive financial support, an income, mentoring and classroom experience, and ultimately a permanent teaching position in a Queensland state secondary school.

Grace said that the program “will support up to 30 tradies to become ITD teachers and bring real-world industry experience to the classroom.

“We’re looking for tradies who want a career change, have a passion for their craft, and a desire to pass their knowledge onto the next generation.

“There are two really important parts to this pilot,” she said.

“Firstly, the demand for ITD teachers is rising and we want to meet that demand. It’s a tribute to our excellent existing ITD teachers that so many more students want to study these important subjects.

“Secondly, Trade to Teach will help set up pathways to well-paid, skilled jobs, inspiring the next generation of trade and technical workers, who are so vital to Queensland’s future.”

Assistant Minister for Education and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga chairs the Trade to Teach Working Group, which includes representatives from government, unions, universities, industry, and the Queensland College of Teachers.

“Successful participants will receive a $20,000 scholarship in the first year of their undergraduate teaching degree, commencing in 2023, and a guaranteed state school internship from 2024 at full pay with half-time teaching load, before starting their permanent role as a fully qualified teacher in 2027,” Lauga said.

“They will also have access to a mentor and a community of practice, and upon graduation will be offered a permanent teaching position in Queensland’s state education system.

“The program will ensure tradies are well prepared for the classroom, receive an income while studying, and guaranteed a job at the end of their studies.

“We want to set up our tradespeople to be great teachers, and we will support them to make the transition into school, ready to share their knowledge with our young people.”

The move has been welcomed by industry, with the Queensland Resources Council — a driving force behind the development of the program — praising the announcement.

“There’s an urgent need to establish a clearer pathway for tradespeople to become ITD teachers,” said Katrina-Lee Jones, the QRC’s Skills, Education, and Diversity Policy Director.

“With plenty of jobs in trades, we want to provide students with an interest in becoming trade-qualified, an opportunity to build up their skills in the classroom.

“Tradespeople-turned-ITD teachers offer a solid understanding of industry skill needs plus a wealth of experience alongside their hand skills, which are essential for safe teaching practices.”

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