Numbers of people applying for PGCE places are up nearly 10 per cent compared with this time last year, according to the Graduate Teacher Training Registry.
The biggest rise is in numbers applying for primary school courses - up 13 per cent to 11,648 - but applications for secondary school places are also up by 4 per cent to 5,863.
Some key secondary areas, however, received fewer applicants, despite the introduction of £4,000 "golden hellos" for teachers in shortage subjects. These included maths, down 3.8 per cent, and French, down 9.2 per cent. Applications to other shortage areas rose sharply, with IT up 88.7 per cent and chemistry 33.7 per cent.
Women applicants still vastly outweigh men by 13,783 to 3,926, but numbers of men rose by a higher percentage. This was particularly marked for secondary courses, where male applications rose by 9 per cent, compared with just 1.4 per cent for women.
The GTTR attributes the rise to new campaigns and incentives being offered to attract trainee teachers. "Teaching is a more rewarding career than it has been in the past," said a spokesman.
The figures show totals of applicants up to December 15, the deadline for primary courses starting in autumn 2001.
Secondary applications are processed throughout the spring and summer.