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Harper joins fellow institutions in committing to support technicians

Posted 10 November

“I’m delighted that Harper Adams has chosen, along with many of the larger universities, to sign-up to the Technician Commitment."

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Harper Adams University, alongside other universities and research institutions from across the UK, have backed a pledge to support their technicians.

The Technician Commitment is a sector-wide initiative led by the Science Council, supported by the Gatsby Foundation to address key challenges facing technical staff working in research.

Victoria Talbot, Laboratory Manager at Harper Adams, said: “I’m delighted that Harper Adams has chosen, along with many of the larger universities, to sign-up to the Technician Commitment.

“The key challenges are just the same for us and, as a small institution, they can be more difficult to address. However, Harper has a history of consistently leading and punching above its weight and so I believe we can do it with this as well.

“I’m delighted to be working with colleagues to ensure that Harper is a university that attracts, trains and retains the best technical staff because we value what they bring and offer career progression, recognition and reward.”

The commitment was originally launched in May 2017 with 36 founding signatories. As of September 28 at New Scientist Live (Excel London), Belinda Phipps, CEO of the Science Council announced that the number of signatories has reached 60 – representing nearly 50 per cent of UK universities.
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 commitment comes at a key time as the demand for technicians is increasing. More than 1.5 million technicians currently work in the UK, which is expected to rise by around 70,000 each year. Vice Chancellors and Directors of Research Institutes from leading institutions across the UK have recognised the need to protect skills across their organisations by utilising and developing expertise.

Higher Education Engagement Manager of the Science Council Kelly Vere said: “Technicians are critical to the success of our universities and research institutes. The Technician Commitment is a sector wide, collaborative initiative to ensure elevated status, profile and opportunity for the technical community in higher education and research. We are delighted with the pace of engagement from the sector and look forward to working with all signatories and partners to ensure visibility, recognition, development and sustainability of technical skills and expertise”.

Nigel Thomas, Executive Director of Gatsby Education, added: “Technicians are a lynchpin of the UK economy and it is testament to the critical role of our country’s research technicians that almost half of all universities have signed-up to the Technician Commitment within just four months of its launch. With such a positive start, I’m confident that the Commitment will be an initiative that the entire sector will want to be a part of.”

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