The ‘Teaching Makes People’ campaign targets university undergraduates studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects as well as people currently working in STEM industries.
The campaign is based on research showing people attracted by and suited to teaching are generally motivated by helping to develop others and making the most of their own knowledge. It builds on the success of last year’s ‘Inspiring Teachers’ campaign which saw a 19% increase in applications for education post graduate diplomas (PGDE) at Scottish universities compared to the previous year.
Mr Swinney launched the campaign at a careers fair at the University of Glasgow.
He said: “Teaching is a highly rewarding and inspiring career with opportunities for creativity and autonomy and, crucially, to make a positive difference to children’s lives. However, it is often overlooked as a career choice by the 20,000 or so STEM undergraduates who qualify from Scottish universities each year.
“This campaign seeks to change this, by targeting undergraduates and having a strong presence at careers events and on campuses across the country. This activity will be backed up by social media, online and radio advertising, and billboard adverts in specific locations.
“Many STEM graduates might not immediately think of teaching or think that they have the skills for the role. This campaign aims to encourage more people studying or working in STEM related areas to think again and consider a challenging and rewarding career in teaching where they can make a positive difference.”
The DFM was joined at the event by PGDE student Lauren Barrie, who spent a year working for a pharmaceutical company before applying to study teaching at Glasgow University.
She said: “Teaching seemed like the perfect option for me. I had found the pharmaceutical industry quite unsociable whereas I knew teaching would allow me to work with others and use my knowledge of chemistry on a daily basis. My experience gained in schools so far as part of my training has been a learning curve but I am enjoying it so much. Teaching is an ideal career for STEM graduates as you get to combine working in the subject you love with the fun of being in a classroom and inspiring young people with your passion.”