Ian Freeman, Technical Manager at Keele University and Harper Adams Veterinary School

My current position is Technical Manager at the new Harper and Keele Veterinary School, and I have been in the position since May. Before this I was a Senior Technician and then Technical Manager for the School of Life Sciences at Keele during the last 2 years.

I was given the opportunity to join the Technicians Commitment after starting at Keele in 2018. During a conversation with my manager, she highlighted the work of the steering group to develop opportunities for technicians and grow the Technician Commitment at Keele and I was keen to get involved.

I feel the biggest challenge relating to the Technician's Commitment is highlighting the sheer variety and amount of skilled work that technicians undertake across the University and how to showcase and celebrate this work.

When we have a Technical Network Hub, and we all meet up at a different school or department it really highlights what interesting, diverse, and skilled work the technicians are undertaking or are involved in. To be able to record and utilise this information to benefit the University is a big challenge but has the opportunity to develop many new ideas.

As an individual and as an organisation, the biggest reward in relation to the Technician Commitment is the opportunity to grow and develop the opportunities relating to recognition and training for current and future technicians. The opportunity to allow technicians to grow and develop within their role and fostering an environment where technicians are recognised and encouraged to develop, and grow is big reward as a technical manager.

By fostering this environment, we have the opportunity to attract new technicians and apprentices to Keele as well and really put the University forward as a supporter of technicians and their development.

I feel the next step for the Technicians Commitment at Keele is to help signpost training opportunities outside of the University, whether that is the opportunity to work alongside technicians at other institutions or on dedicated courses.