Placement programme launches for Midlands’ university technicians

A new placement programme has launched for university technicians to enable them to exchange skills, share experience and best practice.

The Technical Skills Placement Programme is being introduced by Midlands Innovation* to support technical staff working across institutions in the region. Midlands Innovation represents eight universities in the region, in which over 2100 technicians are employed, providing a diverse range of technical expertise.

Technicians play a vital role in universities. The work that they do, usually unseen, enables teaching, research, knowledge exchange and outreach activities to take place. The Technical Skills Placement Programme will provide technicians with an opportunity to work with technicians at other universities on a short placement, in order to develop their skills and make new contacts that can provide support and advice to help them in their future technical careers.

All members of the Midlands Innovation partnership are founding signatories of the Technician Commitment; a sector wide initiative led by the Science Council and supported by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s Technicians Make It Happen campaign. The Commitment aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research, across all disciplines.

Speaking about the Programme, Kelly Vere, Director of the Technician Commitment, said: “The Midlands Innovation Placement Programme is an innovative initiative that aims to drive the professional development of technicians across the Midlands. It's fantastic to see universities working together in support of the Technician Commitment and their technical communities".

Dr Helen Turner, Director of Midlands Innovation, added: “Over the past three years the Midlands Innovation partnership has embarked on a programme of activities designed to increase the visibility of our technical workforce, to recognise excellence and to think about collaboratively supporting their career development. Technicians are vital in ensuring the success of our universities and research institutes, providing academic, research and student colleagues with the essential technical expertise that they need to enable their research and teaching.”

The Technical Skills Placement Programme is open to any technician, of any grade from across the eight member universities and funding covers travel, sustenance and accommodation.

Applications are welcome directly from technicians, or from managers who would like their staff members to learn or experience a particular technique or skill.

For more details about the Technical Skills Placement Programme and to download the application form visit this page. The closing date for applications is 20 February 2019.

*About Midlands Innovation

Midlands Innovation is a world-class research and innovation partnership, combining the collective excellence of eight leading universities in the heart of the UK – Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick. It unites the power of university research with the unique strengths of Midlands industry to drive cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development.