De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has joined more than 60 higher education and research institutions across the UK in a pledge to better support their technicians.
Launched last year, the Technician Commitment is an initiative to address the challenges affecting technical staff and to support institutions in driving forward positive changes.
Led by a steering group of sector bodies - with support from the Science Council and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation – the Commitment centres on four key areas aiming to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working across all disciplines.
DMU employs 93 technicians across three of its four faculties, working in diverse areas such as glassblowing, electronics and forensics.
Ben Browne, Chief Operating Officer at DMU, said: “Our technical staff are the backbone of teaching and academic research at DMU, working tirelessly to share their invaluable skills and expertise.
"By signing the Technician Commitment we are affirming our dedication to recognising and developing our technical workforce. Over the coming months we will work closely with our technicians to better understand their needs and implement change."
“The Commitment also reflects the growing acknowledgment of the vital role of technicians in the higher education sector with the launch of RCUK’s statement of expectation, inclusion in the Athena SWAN Charter, Teaching Excellence Framework and moving forwards, REF 2021.”
Professor Nigel Wright, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at DMU, said: “DMU technicians make great contributions to our research, above and beyond their day-to-day duties.
“They routinely support researchers by running experiments and they also play a significant role in externally-funded projects, which has resulted in their names appearing in respected research publications and journals.
“Signing the Commitment will give us a better platform from which to nurture their skills and celebrate their achievements.”
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Angela Ferguson, Technical Team Leader for Pharmaceutics and Microbiology at DMU, said: “Having worked as a science technician in various education establishments for over 30 years, I am delighted that DMU has signed the Technician Commitment.
“This demonstrates DMU’s recognition of the technical workforce’s valuable contributions and the crucial role they play in the continued success of the university, both in teaching and in research.
“Establishing a clearer pathway for career development will hopefully attract younger people to the profession to ensure that vital skills are not lost.”
Jennifer Penfold, Deputy Director of People and Organisational Development at DMU, said: “While there is already a recognition within DMU of the key role that technicians play in supporting the student learning experience, the Commitment will provide a sound basis for our strategic approach to the recognition, reward and development of our technicians.”
DMU attended the latest Technician Commitment Signatory Event, which took place yesterday at the East Midlands Conference Centre.
The event featured presentations from a number of organisations already signed up to the pledge and the exchange of resources and examples of best practice.
Posted on Thursday 12th April 2018