New national centre of support for technicians announced

Based in Sheffield, the newly announced National Technician Development Centre will tackle the shortage of specialist technical skills in the Higher Education sector.

The National Technician Development Centre for Higher Education will provide HE institutions with access to information, expertise and tools that will enable them to create a sustainable future for their technical staff and services.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has awarded funding of £546,000 from its Catalyst Fund to the centre, which along with funding from Sheffield University and other partners of over £580,000 represents a total investment of £1.125 million in the new centre.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, President of the Science Council and President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield, said:

“Professional Technicians play a vital role in research and education, not only in industry but in the world-leading universities which drive innovation in fields ranging from science and medicine to engineering. Finding a way to nurture and develop this crucial capacity and to support individual professional development matters for individual technicians and the wider community of universities.

I am delighted that this need has been officially recognised by funding being made available to create this National Technician Development Centre, which will be the one stop shop for all universities. The work of the National Centre will make a massive contribution to our understanding of the roles and contribution the Professional Technicians make in the Higher Education sector.”

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