Making teaching in Europe an attractive career


Trade unions and education employer representatives from across Europe worked together on 30–31 January 2023 in Warsaw to finalize a framework of actions enumerating various elements essential to raise the status of the teaching profession.   

At the final conference of the EU-funded project “Towards a Framework of Action on the Attractiveness of the Teaching Profession through effective Social Dialogue in Education” that ETUCE and the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE) carried out jointly, over 100 participants shared their views on what governments, national social partners across Europe, and policymakers can do to successfully tackle teacher shortages. 

The delegates of ETUCE and EFEE reached an agreement and endorsed the final text of the Framework of Action on the Attractiveness of the Teaching Profession that includes chapters ranging from  

  • the role of social partners and social dialogue in the education sector,  
  • to issues related to working conditions,  
  • initial teacher training and  
  • continuous professional development, 
  • curriculum reforms and autonomy,  
  • investment in education, 
  • health and safety,  
  • and valorization of the teaching profession’s status.  

The two-day conference was chaired by Larry Flanagan (ETUCE President) and Fergal McCarthy (EFEE Vice-President) and aimed at enhancing knowledge and awareness on EU governance and policies in education, addressing social dialogue capacity building needs, and seeking a common understanding of the elements linked to the attractiveness of the teaching profession. Overall, this project followed the orientations enshrined in the ESSDE Work Programme 2022-2023.  

The project’s experts Howard Stevenson (University of Nottingham) and Alison Louise Milner (Aalborg University) presented the research report focusing on the importance of economic and non-economic rewards, measures increasing the well-being and quality of working life, equality issues in the education sector, particularly gender-based, and teacher support initiatives.  

The participants were greeted by Ryszard Proksa (President of the National Education Section, NSZZ “Solidarność”), and Dariusz Piontkowski (Polish Deputy Minister of Education and Higher Education). Michael Teutsch (Head of Unit, European Commission, DG EAC, Unit Schools and Multilingualism) presented the initiatives carried out by the European Commission in this area and was joined by Slawomir Broniarz (President of the Polish Teachers' Union, ZNP), and Paul Fields (Education and Training Boards Ireland), in the conclusive panel on the way forward for the future  of  education: how national social partners  and  European  policymaking  can  increase  the  attractiveness  of  the  teaching profession.  

Closing the work of the project’s final conference, Larry Flanagan called on social partners to take action to increase the attractiveness of the profession, reminding that while low remuneration is crucial to address in this context, there are other measures for the improvement of working conditions and recognition of teachers’ work that  also contribute to increasing the attractiveness of the teaching profession and are costless, just depend on the political willingness to engage in effective social dialogue.  

The implementation of the Framework of Action on the Attractiveness of the Teaching Profession will be discussed in the European social dialogue committee working groups this year, and the Framework is to be presented for adoption at the European Social Dialogue Committee for Education during its plenary meeting on 14 December 2023.  

Learn more about the project here