The purpose of this page is to give an overview of supports and initiatives available to schools and outline where relevant guidance and programs can be found.

A range of workforce supports and initiatives are available to schools that may be experiencing recruitment and retention challenges. The workforce supports and initiatives are outlined below.

Workforce Support and Initiatives

Teacher Recruitment Initiative (TRI)

The Teacher Recruitment Initiative (TRI) is designed to assist school recruiters and teachers by streamlining the recruitment process. There are two ways to apply for classroom teaching jobs in Victoria, by:

  • submitting your interest in the Job Opportunities Pool under this initiative and;
  • searching and applying for available vacancies.

While both systems use Recruitment Online (ROL), classroom teachers and graduate teachers using the TRI will benefit by being auto-matched to their preferences and no longer being required to provide a written response to Key Selection Criteria (KSC).

All vacancies must be filled in accordance with the department’s selection procedures (merit based) as set out in the Recruitment in Schools policy and comply with Ministerial Order 1388– Teaching Service (employment conditions, salaries, allowances, selection and conduct) Order 2022.

How does TRI work?

  • Applicants register their interest once (attaching a cover letter and a resume) for all classroom and graduate teacher positions in the Job Opportunities Pool, saving the time needed to manage multiple applications.
  • The Job Opportunities Pool will match applicants’ work preferences, location, role and subject preferences with teacher vacancies.
  • Applicants will receive an email notification when linked to matched vacancies and will be able to withdraw as required.
  • School recruiters can search, shortlist, interview, and recruit candidates without having to advertise locally.
  • School recruiters will be able to review applicants automatically matched against their vacancies (no searching required; however, there still is an option for school recruiters to manually search and link applicants to vacancies).
  • School recruiters can access applications at any time after the initial match and short list after the minimum matching period of three days.

The benefits of the TRI for school recruiters include:

  • Applicants will be matched automatically and will be linked to the school’s vacancy.
  • Functionality to manually search for candidates from the Job Opportunities Pool, to link applicants, shortlist, interview and appoint.
  • No requirement to post vacancies for a minimum 14-day period. Vacancies are to be open for a minimum of 3 days, allowing time to inform internal staff of the job opportunity available at the school.
  • Recruiters can use both methods of recruitment ensuring they are undertaken, one after the other. Requirements for KSC apply at different times and in different ways in the recruitment cycle (TRI utilises KSC during the interview whereas a written submission is required for advertised vacancies). This allows a level playing field for applicants.

The benefits of the TRI for applicants include:

  • A simpler and more efficient way to submit their interest for multiple vacancies in preferred localities.
  • Applicants submit their interest once in the Job Opportunities Pool (attaching a cover letter and a resume), saving the time needed to manage multiple applications.
  • There is no requirement for written responses to KSC. The KSC will be used to determine suitability as part of the interview stage.
  • Option to deselect schools as required.
  • Receipt of email notifications when vacancies match against preferences.
  • Applicants can track their applications and withdraw when matched to an unsuitable vacancy.

For policy advice relating to the TRI, please refer to the Advertising vacancies section of the Recruitment in Schools policy.

For recruiter TRI user guides and fact sheets, please refer to the Recruitment Online Help for recruitersExternal Link .

For applicant TRI user guides and fact sheets, please refer to the Applicant Help - Recruitment OnlineExternal Link .

Graduate Teacher Recruitment Initiative

The Graduate Teacher Recruitment Initiative (GTRI) offers incentives of $5,650 (pre-tax) for eligible graduate teachers taking up a graduate position throughout 2023/24.

This initiative provides schools with strategic recruitment advice and actively supports the promotion and recruitment of Teacher Graduate Recruitment program vacancies.

The GTRI has established partnerships with various education providers to support the transition of pre-service teaching students and graduates into the teaching workforce. To attract aspiring graduate teachers and promote department graduate employment opportunities, GTRI also conducts engaging online and in-person presentations that inform graduates of available job opportunities, the benefits of employment in a Victorian Government School, and guides them through the application process.

To be eligible for employment under this initiative, candidates must:

  • be a teaching graduate who has completed all course requirements and graduated within the past 4 years
  • not be employed as a teacher by the department at the time the advertised position is to start
  • commit to a minimum one-year employment at a Victorian government school to retain the incentive
  • be currently registered (or eligible for registration) with the Victorian Institute of Teaching
  • not be a Graduate Teacher Incentive recipient from a previous vacancy.

Schools are able to advertise between 2.0 and 8.0 FTE graduate positions per year, based on their school type and SRP:

  • up to 2.0 FTE in primary, P–12, and specialist schools
  • an additional 2.0 FTE for primary, P-12 or specialist schools with SRP over $2M, and secondary schools with SRP over $5M
  • an additional 4.0 FTE for SRP over $8M.

Schools who are yet to fill their designated Teacher Graduate Recruitment vacancies can advertise their vacancies with the provision of the $5,650 financial incentive to help attract graduate teacher applicants.

The Graduate Teacher Recruitment initiative process guide can be found under Resources.

For more information, refer to the Teacher Graduate Recruitment program requirements under the Advertising vacancies section of the Recruitment in Schools policy.

For more information on recruiting a graduate teacher through this initiative, visit Commence your teaching career at a Victorian government schoolExternal Link .

Recruitment in Schools


Returning Teachers Support Service

The Returning Teachers Support Service (RTSS) supports teachers to return to the workforce. Teachers not currently working in schools, who are interested in a return to the classroom in a full time, part time or casual capacity, can register for this service. RTSS offers non-practicing teachers access to individualised support to assist them to transition successfully back into the teacher workforce, whether they have retired, been on extended leave or changed professions and wish to return.

The supports offered to returning teachers include an initial consult with RTSS staff to determine support needed and development of an individual support plan which can entail:

  • free and accessible professional development in forms of webinars and 1-1 coaching
  • access to online peer networks
  • links to relevant department and teaching resources
  • support in creating an ROL account and job applications
  • matching returning teachers to current school vacancies
  • classroom observations (to be available in Term 4 2023)
  • regular contact with each returning teacher throughout the process, up until the returning teacher has successfully re-entered the teacher workforce.

A dedicated RTSS team has been established to customise and coordinate these supports and are available 5 days a week to support teachers in returning to the workforce.

Returning Teachers Support ServiceExternal Link


Teacher Re-Engagement Initiative

The Teacher Re- Engagement Initiative (TREI) supports returning teachers through placements of up to 40 days in Victorian government schools to:

  • build returning teachers’ confidence and readiness to return to the school workforce,
  • support schools with a range of needs including mentoring of provisionally registered teachers, student learning where appropriate, and
  • alleviate the pressure of the current workforce and serve as a recruitment opportunity for the school and returning teacher where there is a suitable vacant position.

The TREI aims to support the return of the following teachers:

  • Teachers on a career break with no ongoing connection to a school. This cohort will include teachers with provisional, full and non-practicing registration.
  • Newly retired teachers. Registered teachers retired within the past 1 to 3 years who schools wish to engage because of their experience and skill.

TREI is designed to reengage teachers who have been out of the teaching workforce for greater than 1 year.

Teachers on extended parental leave

Teachers that have been on extended parental leave for greater than 2 years are able to access up to 40 days temporary resumption to support their transition back to work at their base school. Please contact the team for further information.

For further information about the TREI, visit Teacher Re-Engagement InitiativeExternal Link


Migration Support Service

The Migration Support Service provides government schools with access to free specialist migration legal advice on international teacher recruitment, migration, sponsorship, and visa arrangements.

The service reduces the cost and administrative burden on schools, and ensures they have the most up to date legal advice and information regarding international recruitment.

This service supports schools where they are seeking to employ and sponsor a visa holder in a teaching position.

Employment and Sponsorship of Overseas Workers policy


Initial teacher education programs

There are 9 employment-based initial teacher education (ITE) programs available to support teacher supply in Victorian government secondary and specialist schools.

Known as the Teach Today and Teach Tomorrow programs, these programs support Victorian government secondary and specialist schools to address their short-term staffing needs and to invest in their future workforce by employing a graduate pre-service teacher (PST) in the classroom, while that student completes their postgraduate teaching degree.

PSTs enrolled in a Teach Today program receive a department-funded scholarship of $2,400 to support their intensive study period and will be employed in schools as paraprofessionals or education support staff while completing a postgraduate teaching degree across 18-24 months.

PSTs enrolled in a Teach Tomorrow program will receive a department-funded scholarship of $15,000 while they study for the first 6-12 months and undertake PST placements in schools. Then, they will be employed in schools as paraprofessionals or education support staff while completing the final 6-12 months of their postgraduate teaching degree.

Information for potential host schools: Employment-Based Degrees: Teach Today and Teach Tomorrow Programs

Information for potential program participants: Accelerate your teaching career with an employment-based teaching degreeExternal Link


Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

Targeted initiatives in STEM for teacher training include:

  • The Secondary Sciences, Technologies and Mathematics (SSTM) InitiativeExternal Link increases the number of in-field mathematics and science teachers in Victoria, and in participating schools, by providing a fully-funded postgraduate qualification (through Deakin University) at no cost to out-of-field teachers or their schools.
  • The Primary Mathematics and Science Specialist Initiative (PMSS) is a 2-year program designed to drive whole school change through upskilling primary teachers in government schools to become specialists in either science or mathematics.
  • Two new postgraduate qualifications (Graduate Certificates) in Secondary Digital Technologies and Secondary Design and Technologies, with a total of 100 out- of-field teaching participants (50 for each course).


Central Workforce Support Service

The Central Workforce Support Service (CWSS) assists government schools facing significant recruitment and retention challenges. The team works closely with principals and school leadership teams to understand their specific needs, supporting them to streamline their teacher recruitment processes and further discuss recruitment options available to them. This personalised approach allows them to provide tailored solutions and support.

The services provided by CWSS include:

  • Personalised recruitment and retention advice: CWSS offers personalised and strategic advice to cater to the unique requirements of each school. This advice is designed to help schools attract and retain qualified teachers effectively.
  • Comprehensive support in recruitment activities: CWSS collaborates closely with schools to provide comprehensive support in recruitment activities. This support encompasses various aspects of the recruitment process, making it easier for schools to find suitable candidates.
  • Proactive candidate sourcing: The CWSS team actively sources candidates to fill both long-term and casual relief teacher (CRT) roles as needed by schools. This proactive approach ensures that schools have access to a pool of potential candidates to choose from.
  • Access to department recruitment initiatives: CWSS assists schools in accessing a diverse array of department recruitment initiatives. These initiatives are aimed at enhancing teacher attraction, recruitment, and retention, making the hiring process more efficient and effective.

Contact: Schools Workforce Group on 03 7022 5555 or

Casual Relief Teacher (CRT) Travel Fund

The CRT Travel Fund supports rural and regional schools with casual relief teacher supply.

The CRT Travel Fund is available to identified regional and rural schools having trouble attracting CRTs in 2023 and 2024.

Eligible schools can use this funding to attract CRTs to their school for extended periods, through making a special paymentExternal Link .

Special payments may range between $925 and $10,000 per annum (in one or more lump sum payments).

CRT Travel Fund


Careers and Recruitment

Casual Relief Teachers (CRTs)

Employment and Sponsorship of Overseas Workers

Employment-Based Degrees: Teach Today and Teach Tomorrow Programs

Recruitment in Schools

Special Payments

Department policy providing an overview of supports and initiatives available to schools experiencing recruitment and retention challenges

Reviewed 14 September 2023

Policy last updated

29 August 2023


  • Schools


There are multiple contacts for this topic. Refer to each section for the relevant contact.

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