The Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams, has visited Cardiff Metropolitan University to talk to students about why now is the perfect time to start their teaching career in Wales.
The Welsh Government has committed to investing in developing an excellent teaching workforce to support the delivery of the new school curriculum, due to be introduced in schools from September 2022. This includes recruitment of new teachers and improving professional development, while working with unions and other partners to address teachers' workload issues.
The Minister said: "It was a pleasure to visit Cardiff Metropolitan University and meet students who could become teachers in Wales in the very near future.
"Children across Wales benefit day-in and day-out from the commitment of our dedicated teachers and we are looking for people from all backgrounds with the talent and aspiration, ready to join our high-performing workforce.
"It's an exciting time to be a teacher in Wales as we prepare to introduce a new Curriculum that has been designed by teachers, allowing them to be creative in the way they deliver their lessons.
"I would encourage anyone considering a career in teaching to have a look at the opportunities available and to see if they have got what it takes to succeed in this hugely rewarding career."
The Minister's visit to Cardiff Met is the first stop in her tour of Wales's four current Initial Teaching Education Partnerships (ITE) that she is undertaking, as well as to the newly accredited ITE Partnership at the University of South Wales.
At Cardiff she heard from trainee teachers about what attracted them to a career at the front of the classroom, and talked to current undergraduate students about the benefits of teaching as a career option.
Beau Fryer, a BA Hons Primary Education student at Cardiff Metropolitan University, spoke with the Minister during the event. He said: "I'm 28 so have had a few years to work out what I wanted to do in terms of a career. Teaching is most definitely a vocation which requires a lot of passion and I am thoroughly enjoying my experience so far.
"My first school placement has already been very rewarding and I understand that as a teacher, I will never stop learning. I'm excited about continuing my learning journey for the duration of my career.
"The way we teach is going to be different because of the new curriculum coming in, but I see that as a really great opportunity to be a part of something new."
Jen Davies, a PGCE Primary student at Cardiff Metropolitan University, added: "I have always wanted to train to be a teacher but waited until my children were older until I could fully commit to the profession. My personal experience of primary education was extremely positive and I feel privileged to be in a position where I can now influence the primary school experience of young people in Wales.
"Working with young people is hugely rewarding and I am very excited about my future career as a teacher."
Julia Longville, Dean for Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy, added: "With the new curriculum being introduced, the world of education in Wales is changing and therefore teaching has never offered more opportunity for teachers to influence that change and play a real role in developing what, and how, our children learn. At Cardiff Met we offer both primary and secondary courses, and through the medium of either Welsh or English – we would love to speak to you about teaching as a career, so please get in touch if you'd like to discuss any aspect of training to teach or for more information on how to apply to us."
To qualify as a teacher, current students must obtain a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). PGCE courses are usually one year long, and involve theoretical as well as practical elements, including time spent on placements within schools. A brand new part-time route being delivered through the Open University is also currently under development, for anyone not in a position to undertake the full-time PGCE.
If you have a passion for your subject or area of expertise and want to inspire young people, it's never been a more exciting time to become a teacher in Wales. There are several ways to start your career in teaching - whether it's your first step into the world of work, returning to teaching or a whole new career.
For more information and to find out about the financial incentives available to help people train, please visit www.discoverteaching.wales
To read this story in Welsh, click here.