Kiwi teachers enticed to the UAE while NZ recruits overseas educators

Newshub has discovered hundreds of Kiwi teachers are lining up for overseas jobs as the Government desperately tries to recruit more educators to come here.

The jobs in the Middle East on offer aren't new, but recruiters say they've become more attractive for fed-up Kiwi teachers.

Craig Baily moved here from the US almost ten years ago to teach, and currently teaches at a high school in West Auckland. But the mathematics teacher, with a stellar CV, now wants to leave in the hope of a new job in the United Arab Emirates.

"I'm just looking at it with an open mind, and [I'm] excited at the possibility", he says.

He's excited mostly about the chance to earn significantly more money. Baily says the enticing financial packages offered in the UAE will enable him to have more financial freedom, and help him save for his retirement.

"About 50 percent more [money] than I'm currently making after taxes, with tax free".

More than 100 teachers have been interviewed in Auckland this weekend for jobs in Abu Dhabi with another hundred to be interviewed the following week over Skype.

The company recruiting them, Teach and Explore, says many Kiwi teachers are looking to take on the traditional OE but, at a time where many are feeling over-worked and stressed, they're proving more likely to pack up and head overseas.

"Teachers are feeling the burden and salaries aren't reflected in the work they're putting in at the moment, which is why you're having teachers looking abroad," the company's founder Garrett O'Dowd says.

A secondary teacher in New Zealand with a Bachelor's degree would start on a salary of around $47,000, and without extra-curricular responsibilities can earn up to $73,000.

In the UAE, private teachers are being paid around $60,000 a year tax free, and public school teachers can earn up to $96,000.

Kiwi teachers enticed to the UAE while NZ recruits overseas educators
Photo credit: Newshub.

On top of that, there's the chance of free medical insurance, accommodation, and a flight home.

The recruitment drive comes as our Government tries to lure more than 850 foreign teachers to our shores to solve a looming shortage. At the same time, it's struggling to strike a pay deals with both primary and secondary teachers.

Craig Baily says if pay went up and classroom sizes went down, he might consider staying on in the adopted country he has come to love.

"I'd be less likely to leave, without a doubt."

The Ministry of Education says there will be enough quality teachers for schools for next year despite the late recruitment drive. As for recruiting, it says more than 700 candidates have been vetted for primary and secondary teaching, with schools now being encouraged to hire them.