A £12m Transition Training Fund has been announced by the Scottish Government to encourage North Sea oil and gas workers facing redundancy to train as teachers, with those wanting to train in maths, science and engineering given priority.
According to Scottish Education Secretary Angela Constance, workers who are at risk of losing their jobs during the current downturn in the oil and gas industry could become “high quality” and “passionate” teachers in school science classrooms.
Constance hailed the “highly skilled oil and gas workforce” and said it was important to harness their skills to help the next generation, the future of the industry and the north-east.
The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) said it could go some way to addressing teacher shortages in some parts of the country, while also increasing the number of teachers within the STEM subjects.
EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “This investment to support the retraining of experienced workers as teachers will help to tackle teacher shortages, while also continuing to ensure that only fully qualified teachers are deployed in order to maintain the very high standards of learning and teaching in Scotland’s schools.”
Convener of Aberdeen’s City Council’s education committee, Angela Taylor, welcomed the news in saying: “The difficulty in recruiting and retaining teachers has been particularly challenging in STEM subjects.
“The news today that funding is being made available towards retraining will hopefully assist in alleviating the issues we face with recruitment.”