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The UK will face a shortfall of around 128,000 teachers by 2050 because of an ageing workforce, skills shortages and restrictive migration policies, says recruitment company Randstad Education.

The company has used the most recent European population data from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, to project employment patterns and changes in the UK population. Its analysis shows a gap between employment demand and workforce supply across the UK workforce as a whole of 3.1m by 2050. The education sector is set to suffer the most, with an estimated deficit of 127,500 teachers. Other sectors will also encounter large workforce shortfalls, with the construction industry facing a 66,800 gap and the health care sector facing a 61,200 shortage.

The Government has introduced a number of measures to combat the predicted dearth of qualified teachers in the future, including incentives to attract private sector workers into teaching, and schemes to entice those taking early retirement and extended maternity breaks back into the profession. However, Randstad Education’s Managing Director Jenny Rollinson cautioned that “whilst these initiatives make some difference they can’t possibly combat the shortfall we are facing.”

She also warned against the temptation to supplement qualified teaching staff with unqualified teaching assistants. “This is not a trend that can continue if we want to ensure our classrooms have the very best people inspiring and leading our children to great things”, she said.

For more information on the study, click here.

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