Adriaan (35) could become rich but would much rather be in front of the classroom

With his business background, Adriaan van der Tang (35) could earn three times as much as he now does as a teacher. Yet he did not hesitate for a second when, as a transfer student, he made the transition from the office to the classroom. He calls on more people to do so, and thus reduce the teacher shortage in the province.

Yesterday the House of Representatives debated the national teacher shortage. Amsterdam councilor Marjolein Moorman calls the profession the most important profession for the future. According to her, the bar should not be lowered, but rather raised.

In front of the class

How? According to Wolf Weymiens, part of the answer to that question lies with lateral entrants, people who come from another sector and switch to education later in their career. As program coordinator of the ‘education in’ foundation, he has recently seen an increase in people making the transition to education.

According to Weymiens, the teacher shortage is a multi-headed beast: “There is not one solution that will solve everything. But the lateral entry process offers great prospects in the long term. It makes education richer and more interesting.”

Adriaan van der Tang can talk about that. As a trainee, he followed a 2-year training program to become a teacher. The basis of such a program is that you immediately stand alone in the classroom, combined with training to become a teacher at the university. There are two conditions attached to this: you must complete a suitability assessment and have a relevant HBO or WO diploma.

Zero costs

Adriaan, who studied business administration, has therefore become a (business) economics teacher. Costs? Zero. The university education of 250,000 euros is paid for by a subsidy applied for by the school in question. The trainee then joins the school and therefore becomes a ‘regular and full employee’.

But if there are only advantages, why don’t many more people use such a lateral entry route? According to Weymiens, the route is not always well known. The education desk was created a few years ago specifically for this reason. A central and national point where people can go for information and support regarding educational issues.

But even within education itself, the opportunities for lateral entrants are not always well known. Weymiens: “Sometimes there is someone in front of the class without experience, which can cause quite a bit of tension within schools.”

Amsterdam is the leader

Out recent Research by Voion shows that in the North Holland region the number of teachers in secondary education increased by 2.5 percent last year. Compared to the national percentage of 0.7 percent, this is a striking difference. Can be explained by the concentration in Amsterdam.

Employment in the province is expected to decline slightly, by almost 1 percent. A strong decline of more than 5 percent is expected, especially in North Holland North. In other regions, on the other hand, employment will increase. For example, an increase of 1.5 percent is expected in Zuid-Kennemerland and IJmond.

Without policy interventions, North Holland secondary education faces a shortage of 458 full-time jobs in 2027. The largest shortage is expected in Amsterdam, namely more than 130 jobs.

Good hope

Nevertheless, Weymiens is hopeful that the number of lateral entrants will increase, and thus the teacher shortage will decrease. Is there still enough room for that? Absolutely, said the coordinator: “As far as I’m concerned, many more people will enter education this way.”

In any case, Adriaan has no regrets: “I’m very happy that I did this, I never want to work in an office again. After my master’s I was unsure whether I wanted to join the classroom. I just didn’t really know how. I was offered this traineeship.”