Guest contributor: Joanne Holland, Employer Engagement Manager at Transition to Teach (Written 17 February 2021)
Transition to Teach is a Department for Education funded programme delivered by Cognition Education offering free support to businesses and their employees, in order to raise awareness of teaching as a credible alternative to those who may be facing redundancy, coming to the end of their contract or taking early retirement. This specialist support starts from the initial exploration into teaching as a possible career and continues right through to the end of their first year as a newly qualified teacher. The Transition to Teach team work closely with employers to support exiting staff into an exciting new teaching career.
Where should employers start?
Down-sizing and restructuring are particularly challenging times for employers, especially when they lead to job losses. Many employers want to do the right thing to support affected staff and most offer support with preparing CVs, job search and interview techniques. Some companies go even further to support their staff by proactively seeking and sharing job opportunities, and one of those options can be teaching.
Sometimes employers can also be wary about being seen to promote one career over another. We always explain that it’s not about promoting a particular career, but more about giving staff at risk of redundancy possible avenues to explore. There is a lot of sensitivity around redundancy for companies and for staff too.
Teaching isn’t for everyone, our job is to raise awareness of teaching as a credible career opportunity for employees at risk of redundancy and help them to decide if teaching is for them.
It’s about Transition to Teach being there when companies need us. We might hear nothing at all from an organisation, and then a year later, they get in touch, perhaps because redundancies have been confirmed.
Some sectors have been particularly affected by the pandemic and there has certainly been more interest from companies for the Transition to Teach programme. Some employers will bring in outplacement companies, and we’ll work alongside outplacement teams as well as careers advisers and job centres.
What support does Transition to Teach offer?
Once companies have an active redundancy situation, Transition to Teach offer support in a variety of ways.
The first step is usually to set up a meeting, find out timescales, share our employer pack and find out how the company wants us to support them. In many cases the company will just take this information and disseminate it to staff but others will ask for more support. For example, we recently provided a private webinar for a client in the travel industry and we also support army resettlement on an ongoing basis.
Some staff experience redundancy rounds every year, sometimes multiple times each year. The coronavirus pandemic is causing people from all sectors to re-evaluate their careers, not just those at risk of redundancy.
Manchester-based career changer Joe Trippett is a former detective constable and personal trainer who is now training to teach maths with Ashton-on-Mersey SCITT.
“I love helping people in general and I’ve always gravitated towards roles where I can do this,” said Joe. “Working with the police made me realise exactly how important school is to set people on the right path in life.”
Joe contacted Transition to Teach and received advice and practical support with applying to a teaching course; Joe will continue to receive support right through to the end of his first year as a newly qualified teacher.
“I have received excellent support and encouragement since joining the process. Transition to Teach have helped me with securing a placement, accessing financial support and completing assignments. The team made sure I knew what to expect and had plenty of information available to me.”
David Burns is another Transition to Teach participant based in Manchester. A former litigation executive, David has switched the courtroom for the classroom and is now training to teach history. He has an abundance of transferable skills gained from his previous career.
“Communication is a key skill I learned from working in litigation,” said David. “I needed to be able to provide information to all levels of understanding and to deal with difficult clients, opponents and circumstances. I spent my days drafting documents, negotiating settlements, and dealing with court deadlines.”
A change of circumstances prompted David to change careers:
“I fell into a career in law when I was younger but then my daughter came along, and it gave me the push I needed to look into teaching. As I move into teaching, I’m now excited to get into a classroom and teach the subject I love.”
For more information, and to see how Transition to Teach could support your organisation’s outplacement strategy, simply visit Employers.
Transition to Teach
Transition to Teach supports eligible career changers into the teaching profession, with a renewed focus for 2020 of supporting those who have been made, or are at risk of, redundancy.
The scheme focuses on encouraging potential teachers to recognise how their existing skills can be applied to the classroom environment, to make a positive impact on young people and to provide an outstanding level of education across the country. Transition to Teach is delivered through Cognition Education.