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Northumbria marks commitment to supporting its technicians

24th November 2021

Northumbria University has solidified its commitment to enhancing visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability of its technicians who play a significant part in learning, teaching and research, by signing the Technician Commitment.

The Technician Commitment is a university and research institution initiative, led by a steering board of sector bodies, with support from the Science Council and the Technicians Make It Happen campaign.

Signatories make a pledge against the key challenges affecting technical staff and commit to developing an action plan to deliver on the Commitment.

The Commitment includes four key areas – visibility; recognition, career development and sustainability – ensuring that the contribution of technicians is visible, that they are recognised through professional registration and external award schemes, they are supported with career progression opportunities, and the future sustainability of technical skills and expertise is fully utilised.

Professor Louise Bracken, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Northumbria University said: “Technicians play a big part in our research strategy which is focused on tackling challenges of the future. We’re delighted to have joined this national initiative which is clearly making a difference and we’re excited to implement our own action plan at Northumbria.”

The University was announced as a new signatory at a special event in London to celebrate the progress and impact the Technician Commitment is continuing to make across the sector.

It comes as a new report shows that the national initiative is making genuine impact for technicians within institutions across the UK.

An evaluative study, carried out by York Consulting, examined the impact and progress of the Technician Commitment which found that a good range of governance and support has been put in place to develop the Technician Commitment at institutional, regional and national level.

Outcomes for individual technicians have been experienced in relation to increased pride, motivation and aspirations: technicians have been professionally registered; received awards for their achievements; accessed improved CPD; and had individual roles recognised and upgraded.

Kelly Vere MBE, Programme Director for Technician Commitment said the report findings were testament to the individuals and communities within the signatory and supporter organisations who were really driving the culture change.

“Over the last four years we have made significant progress raising awareness and visibility of the technical community and the vital contributions technical colleagues make to research, education and innovation. There is, however, still work to be done.

“I’m confident that the Technician Commitment will continue to advance status and opportunity for the technical community now, and in years to come, whilst strengthening the wider culture and environment within which we all play our parts. We’re delighted to continue to welcome new signatory and supporters to the initiative and we look forward to continuing our collective work together to drive this important agenda.”

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