The teachers’ union has cast doubt on the government’s drive to recruit 250 teachers over six years.
Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the largest ever recruitment drive for new teachers would begin this weekend.
He said Tasmania would welcome applications from local graduates and teachers from around the country.
“We want the best and the brightest,” Mr Rockliff said.
“We are hoping for as many of these positions as possible to begin from next year.
“The reality is increasing teacher numbers is only possible because we have a fair and affordable wages policy which equates to a six percent pay rise over three years.”
Australian Education Union Tasmanian president Helen Richardson welcomed the recruitment drive but said it would be difficult to attract and retain teachers while Tasmanian teachers were “the lowest paid teachers in Australia.”
“Unless the Government pays Tasmanian teachers a fair wage, acknowledges the complexity facing the profession and addresses the unmanageable workload of our teachers, it will be difficult to attract and retain teachers in this state,” Ms Richardson said.
“Our regional, rural and isolated schools currently have very little incentive to attract and retain high quality teaching staff. This creates a huge challenge for the Government in attracting educators to these communities.”
Ms Richardson said other states were forecasting chronic shortages of teacher numbers in the coming years and urged the government to scrap its public sector wages cap.
Tasmanian Principals Association president Malcolm Elliott commended the government for its approach to recruiting and developing the teaching workforce.
“We need to make it attractive for people and it has got to be fairly remunerated because that is an important consideration,” Mr Elliott said.
Mr Rockliff said the government had already increased teacher numbers by 142.8 full-time equivalents since coming to office.
He said the latest recruitment drive built on the work already done to improve educational outcomes and ensure every student had the best possible start in life.