A new online portal aimed at connecting emigrant teachers with vacancies in Irish schools has been launched.
The moves comes as school management bodies and teachers’ unions warn of a “crisis” in teacher supply which threatens to undermine the quality of children’s education.
The system - which operates under the title turasabhaile.com or "journey home" - will give teachers the opportunity to register their contact details, CVs, preferred employment location and specialist subjects.
Schools linking to turasabhaile.com are also being encouraged to provide initial interviews over video link, such as Skype.
The initiative is being supported by second level school management bodies for more than 700 secondary schools.
They including the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools (ACCS), Education and Training Boards Ireland and the Joint Managerial Body, as well as the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD).
The new system has been introduced following discussions on the issue of teacher supply with the Department of Education and other management bodies.
The move comes as Minister for Education Joe McHugh prepares to host a series of "town hall" style meetings in the United Arab Emirates next week to encourage emigrant teachers to return home.
It is estimated that there are in the region of 2,000 Irish teachers alone in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other cities in the UAE. Mr McHugh said many are considering returning home.
“Initiatives like this will make it easier,” he said. “I’d like to thank the post primary schools’ management bodies and NAPD for seizing the initiative here and responding to the need for management bodies and schools to be more proactive in trying to source the best candidates.”
John Irwin, ACCS general secretary, said the beauty of the new online portal was its simplicity.
“We are adopting a very simple recruitment tool to enable potential candidates to be matched with schools which have vacancies,” he said.
“Teachers are being given the chance to express an interest in returning home and applying for a job.
“It is the first step in adopting a more digitally focused approach to recruitment. It will also help to assess demand for jobs while at the same time identify opportunities for qualified applicants.”