LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The number of people inquiring online about becoming teachers has jumped 45 percent since the credit crisis hit last September, according to the UK agency for teacher training on Monday.
The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) said 850,234 people had shown interest in the past five months, nearly half as many again as in the same period last year.
"We have witnessed an unprecedented surge in inquiries about teaching to our website," said Graham Holley, Chief Executive of the TDA. "It demonstrates a fast-growing appetite for the rewarding career of teaching."
The agency is organizing two career fairs this month for would-be teachers in the City of London, where job losses have been especially heavy.
Holley said teaching is an attractive option for career switchers with communication and team management skills.
The TDA needs to meet the government's target of recruiting 38,000 people for initial teacher training for the academic year starting in September.
Within this, a TDA spokeswoman said, the agency would need to recruit 6,600 science teachers and 5,320 math teachers for 2009-2011.
Reporting by Martina Fuchs, Editing by Steve Addison