The teacher shortage in New Zealand is now a "crisis" that will take years to recover from, according to the Principals Federation president.
Whetu Cormick spoke on the AM Show this morning addressing the "teaching supply crisis" and was clear where he felt the blame lies.
"I believe the previous Government took the eye off the ball on this particular issue and it will be some years before we can confidently say there are enough teachers for our beautiful young people."
Teacher shortages have been prevalent across the country since 2014 and the shortage is growing more severe as fewer graduates are choosing to enter the profession.
From a graduating year of high schoolers in the Bay Of Plenty in 2017, only two of the graduates chose teaching college, Mr Cormick says this is a sign "the status of the profession needs to be raised".
He says under the previous Government "the profession was battered and bruised", pointing to heavy workloads, stress levels and low levels of pay which all need to be addressed by the new Government.
The lack of financial incentive in teaching is one of the most serious problems facing the profession according to Mr Cormick, with young Kiwis increasingly choosing to enter the corporate world.
"Young people are making decisions about where's the money, and the money is in the corporate world."
Teacher burnout is another common problem, with Mr Cormick saying he often sees young people enter the profession "full of enthusiasm, doing a great job and then quit after three or four years because it is just too difficult."
More than 17,000 students are currently estimated to be without teachers nationwide.