Seniority incentive offered to career change teachers


Years worked in the private sector will now count towards teaching seniority in key subjects

Salary boost

People leaving the private sector to become teachers can take up to eight years of seniority with them, under new rules announced by Flemish education minister Ben Weyts. This could mean taking home up to €300 extra each month.

“By better recognising seniority, we want to attract more new teachers,” explained Weyts. “And by attracting people with interesting profiles, we will improve the quality of education.”

At present, people who exchange a career in the private sector for teaching generally have to reset the clock on their workplace seniority. The only exceptions made are in technical and business-oriented secondary education, where professional experience is sometimes considered relevant in the classroom.

From the next school year, the government plans to broaden these exceptions to cover areas where there are teacher shortages. This will involve recognising seniority for the first time in general secondary education and primary education, and extending seniority in technical and business secondary education.

In these corona times there may be a lot of people who are considering a career change

- Minister Ben Weyts

The subjects singled out are: Dutch, Dutch for newcomers, French, mathematics, construction, electrical engineering, woodwork, mechanical engineering, and business correspondence in French or Dutch.

For a new teacher who has eight years of professional experience on the clock, the change could mean taking home an extra €220 each month. Better still, if you have a master’s degree in mathematics and eight years of seniority, the benefit will be just over €300 each month.

“People choose education because they want to pass on their passion to young people. They are not in it for the money,” Weyts said. “But it is daunting if you also have to leave behind all the seniority you have accumulated. So we want to remove any barriers for people who have been working in the private sector for a while and are seriously considering a change to teaching.”

In particular, Weyts has his eye on people who have been rethinking their careers during lockdown. “In these corona times there may be a lot of people who are considering a career change. With this measure we want to tempt them to choose the classroom, and also strengthen the quality of education.”

Photo courtesy Damiaan Institute