A new service has been launched to help businesses guide people they are making redundant into a career in teaching.

The Government-backed Transitiontoteach.co.uk programme is funded by the Department for Education and designed to provide firms with the advice and resources they need to help employees find a new career in the classroom.

Julia Richards, director for Transitiontoteach.co.uk, said: “Making staff redundant is one of the worst decisions companies have to face as it can cause such high levels of stress, uncertainty and leave employees wondering where their future lies.

“Through our programme, we’re giving organisations across virtually all sectors the unique opportunity to properly support staff through redundancy while tackling skills shortages and enhancing the quality of education provided in local schools.”

The programme will involve a four-stage process drawing on skills people already have that can be applied to teaching.

Companies are now able to register their interest in the programme.

Transitiontoteach.co.uk will then help manage the transition into teaching, including by discussing the individual redundancy needs of the business and giving them relevant resources and other support.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show there were 109,000 people in the UK who had been been redundant during the period from October to December.

However, the UK employment rate was estimated at a record high of 76 per cent.