Both locally and nationally there has been a huge amount of progress in raising the profile and supporting the role of technical staff. Find out more about what has been happening.
This article in the current edition of the Reporter tells us how University pledges support to technicians throughout the University:
To find out more about these initiatives, and other information relevant to technical staff, here is a brief summary to keep you updated.
In September the University of Leeds was awarded Employer Champion status. An event was held and the VC, Sir Alan Langlands, received the award on behalf of the University from Belinda Phipps, CEO of the Science Council.
Belinda Phipps presenting the award to Sir Alan Langlands.
Our employer has agreed to provide resources to support professional registration and to ensure staff have access to continuing professional development opportunities. Three members of technical staff received their professional registration certificates at the event.
Congratulations to Angela, Matty and Ewa on completing their professional registration.
Full details of the agreement:
The University of Leeds, along with more than half of the universities and Research Institutes in the UK, has now joined the Technician Commitment and pledged to support its technical staff. This is an initiative led by the Science Council and supported by the Gatsby Foundation to address key challenges facing technical staff working in research. The commitment states, Through the Technician Commitment, five target areas have been identified to improve and safeguard vital technical skills. The pledge will ensure greater visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians across all disciplines.
The University has renewed its HEaTED membership. HEaTED provides courses that range from specific, specialist focused areas to supporting technicians in developing their leadership/management, and teaching/learning skills.
Being a member means you receive discounted course rates so do take advantage! Their 2017/18 course directorate can be found here: | STEM
In April the government introduced the apprenticeship levy to help fund the 3 million apprentices the government will provide by 2020.
Degree apprenticeships have also been launched this year allowing apprentices to receive a degree during the course of their apprenticeship. These will be launching at the University in September 2018.
New apprenticeship roles could be important in our sector as the Technical Development and Modernisation project at the University of Sheffield (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/tdm) has identified areas of concern such as succession planning (40% of HE technicians are aged 50+).This project looks at the development and embedding of career pathways across the higher education sector.
In the spring budget the Chancellor announced an investment in technical education for 16-19 year olds. Rising to over £500 million, it is an attempt to give technical education an equal footing to academic education. This is an effort to improve our technical education which is currently near the bottom of international league tables and to increase productivity.
In March, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) hosted a workshop attended by representatives from other research councils, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and the Science Council. The workshop looked at how, as a group, they can recognise the importance of technicians and technical specialists. This is important as in 2 years time all of the research councils will merge to form a single body called UKRI and they are currently forming policy. They asked the opinions of technical staff and others to find out what issues affect technical staff and how these issues can be addressed. Three technicians from the Faculty of Biological Sciences took part in this workshop. This follows on from the communication in Nature in 2015 looking to forge a clearer career path for technical careers. http://rdcu.be/yE42
Local networking opportunities include the monthly Tech-a-Break coffee mornings and the quarterly Technicians Network meetings. Many of our technicians take advantage of faculty funding to attend relevant national conferences such as Higher Education Technicians Summit (HETs) and the IST conference; also workshops such as the BBSRC one mentioned above, alongside regional HEaTED networking events.
Networking at the Employer Champion event.
Technicians Make it Happen
If you want to be kept updated with what is going on in the wider community this is a great place to start.
Upcoming Workshops and Events
There are a number of events and workshops you may wish to attend before the end of the year:
Monday 8th January- Tech-a-break, free tea, coffee, cake, and technician chat.
10.30am. NEW LOCATION: 5-7 Lifton Place, (entrance on University Road) Please enter using the push pad, once in the lobby you will find an intercom to the left of the main door, this will connect to the office and a member of staff will allow access to the rooms within the centre.
Tuesday 19th December HEaTED Northern Networking Meeting
The University of Lancaster will be hosting an event that will: discuss the Technicians Commitment Initiative, focus on staff development planning, identify training needs for teams, and look at opportunities to generate income for our institution. This is a great opportunity to talk to colleagues from other organisations and share ideas and best practice. As members of HEaTED you can attend this event for free. For more information and to book, please click here. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
We would love to hear your views, and if you have any information about what is happening in your area both locally and nationally please do let us know.
To get in touch you can use:
Yammer: Technicians Network