National Technician Development Centre turns one
The National Technician Development Centre is celebrating a year since its official opening.
The Sheffield-based centre tackles a lack of specialist technical skills in higher education in the UK and supports the delivery of technical services across science, engineering, medicine and the arts.
Terry Croft, director of the NTDC, said: “We are delighted with the work we have done in our first year of operation as the National Centre. “With our expanding team of consultants and rapidly growing list of partners, we are working with HEIs and research institutions across the UK."
In its first year since opening on February 13, 2018, the centre has employed more staff, providing further expertise for the in-demand skills audit, the Technical Development and Modernisation (TDM) toolkit.
It has also run workshops across the UK and presented at events, including a Technician Commitment event in the Towers of London.
The NTDC helps organisations by advising on reviews and restructuring of technical communities and services, guidance on recruitment and retention, helping develop technical networks, and delivering presentations and workshops.
It also supports the Technician Commitment university and research institution initiative, which supports career development for technicians in higher education.
NTDC has been working with over 30 higher education and research institutions, 17 of whom are now official partners. They include the Institute of Science and Technology, Technical Managers in Universities, University Bioscience Managers’ Association, as well as the universities of Reading, York, Manchester, Newcastle, Cambridge and Sheffield.
The centre was set up following a £1.125 million investment, nearly half of which was from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
According to the Gatsby Charitable Foundation – which provides funding for charitable causes in scientific fields – the UK needs 700,000 more technicians in the next decade.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville, founder and chairman of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, said: “The interest in the services provided by the NTDC is testament to the growing acknowledgment of the vital contribution of technicians in our universities.
“It is most heartening to see that across the sector, so many are working towards improving visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for the HE technical community.”