Workers turning to teaching for new career

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Beleaguered workers are registering their interest in becoming teachers in droves, new figures showed today.

Official figures from the Teaching and Development Agency (TDA) showed that in the past two and a half months, 424,802 people made inquiries through their website.

For the same period in 2007/08 (November 1 2007 and January 14 2008), there were 283,641 inquiries - a rise of 50%.

The TDA has said the record rise was due to the economic downturn.

Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost in the past two months, not just in banking, but in the manufacturing, retail and transport industries.

And the losses are expected to continue in the coming months.

Official Government figures due this week are expected to show another rise in the number of people out of work.

The TDA is running two events in the City for people looking to enter teaching. It follows a series of highly successful events held last autumn.

Graham Holley, chief executive of the TDA, said: "We are witnessing an unprecedented surge in inquiries about teaching to our website since the beginning of the credit crunch.

"This demonstrates a fast-growing appetite for the rewarding career of teaching. In these uncertain times, teaching is a fulfilling and challenging career as well as a stable one."

A TDA spokeswoman said there were teaching jobs available for those people who were eligible to apply for teacher training.

The agency needs to recruit 6,600 science teachers and 5,320 maths teachers in the next two years, she said.

In total the TDA has a target of recruiting 38,000 teachers each year.

:: Events will be held at the Andaz Hotel at Liverpool Street, London, on Wednesday, January 21, and at the Marriott Hotel, Canary Wharf, London, on Wednesday, January 28.