< Back to News

Midlands Innovation launches new programme to develop technician skills

Midlands Innovation has selected 24 technicians to take part in a pilot Technical Skills Placement Programme (TSPP) designed to help them learn new skills and develop their careers.

Midlands Innovation consists of eight leading universities from across the Midlands, and the TSPP builds on the activities already being delivered by each institutions, to provide technicians with the opportunity to work in new environments and with other technical professionals who are experts in their respective fields. The placements will take place over the next 6 months, and if successful, the programme will be repeated in 2020. 

Speaking about the programme, Dr Helen Turner, Director of Midlands Innovation, said: “By spending time with colleagues at another institution, the technicians taking part in this programme will build new relationships with their peers and gain important new insights into how technical services are delivered in other universities. Midlands Innovation has a strong track record in celebrating the role that technicians play in universities and research, and this programme takes that work a step further.”

All of the Midlands Innovation partner universities were founding signatories of the Technician Commitment, and have pledged to take action to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in their institutions. 

Kelly Vere, Technician Commitment lead at the Science Council, added: “Technicians do invaluable work for our universities, often behind the scenes, supporting academics and students in research, teaching and innovative R&D work with businesses. This exciting Midlands Innovation programme will broaden horizons, and enable technicians to share best practice, and learn new skills and techniques that they can apply in their roles. It may also create new opportunities for research collaboration across our universities.”

“We look forward to hearing the experiences of all those taking part in placements and hope that this is just the first of many Technical Skills Placement Programmes that will take place in the future.”

The TSPP is just one of a number of services that Midlands Innovation is providing for technicians. Also this year, it is supporting the third Higher Educations Technicians Summit (HETS), a free national conference for university technicians, which is taking place at Birmingham University on 25th June.