Labour promises 'a lot more' teachers than National

Labour says the Government's $5 million teaching boost is a "drop in the bucket" that won't make up for the impending exodus from the profession.

The money will allow the recruitment of another 90 teachers over five years through the eight-week Teach First NZ course, but education spokesman Chris Hipkins says New Zealand needs "a lot more than that".

And just like the other big problem facing the country's young - unaffordable housing - the Baby Boomers are being blamed.

"We've got a problem with baby boomer teachers retiring," Mr Hipkins told The AM Show on Thursday.

And younger teachers aren't staying in the profession long enough to replace their aging mentors.

"More of them are only staying in teaching five or 10 years… we've also got to look at the high turnover of beginning teachers as well."

Many young Auckland teachers quit the profession or don't even enter it after finishing their degrees, unable to earn the kind of money required to live comfortably - particularly in Auckland.

 But he's not backing calls to pay teachers more to stay in Auckland.

"I've got some sympathy for the Government on this. Our position's not that dissimilar to theirs - you create all sorts of problems when you start paying people differently in different parts of the country. There's fairness issues there.

"But having said that, we've got to look at the problems in Auckland. We've got a major recruitment problem in Auckland."

Post-Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) president Jack Boyle is disappointed the PPTA's recommendations were ignored.

"If you think about the recommendations in the ministerial working group on teacher supply, and the agreed recommendations in there, the difference between that and the policy announcement is just so far, it's almost laughable, I'm afraid."

Mr Hipkins compared it to the Government's recently announced house building programme, which many commentators pilloried as a 'lite' version of Labour's KiwiBuild - a policy the Government has relentlessly trashed since its unveiling in 2013.

He wouldn't reveal how many teachers Labour plans to bring online, saying they have to wait until after the Budget later this month to find out how the Government's finances are looking.

Mr Boyle says a majority of those going through the Teach NZ First programme are post-grads with no prior teaching training.

Newshub.

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