Technician roadmap launched by University to shine spotlight on vital technical talent

A new technical career route, aimed at supporting career progression for technicians and celebrating their vital contributions, has been launched at the University of ߲ݴý.

Technical career route image
  • Technical career route launched to support with career progression and celebrate technicians at the University of ߲ݴý
  • ߲ݴý is one of only a handful of UK universities to have implemented a career route for technical staff.
  • More than 700 technical colleagues provide critical support to research, innovation an education and service delivery at the University

A new technical career route, aimed at supporting career progression for technicians and celebrating their vital contributions, has been launched at the University of ߲ݴý.

The route aims to tackle the long-standing issues of inconsistent job titles, a lack of clear career paths, and limited recognition for technicians – a critical workforce often overlooked. ߲ݴý is one of only a handful of universities in the UK to have implemented a career route for technical staff.

Technical talent and expertise are critical to research, innovation, education – and to the delivery and development of services across the University. 

More than 700 technical colleagues provide support, ranging from implementing new technologies, finding solutions to research problems and managing research facilities to developing industry partnerships, supporting teaching, maintaining work spaces, and providing technical production for events.

The innovative framework provides, for the first time, a clear roadmap for both technicians and their managers. Technicians can use the route to plan their own career development while managers and recruiters benefit from standardised job titles and grade profiles. 

This transparency ensures technical careers are better recognised, understood, developed and respected, fostering a more supportive and rewarding environment for technical staff. This also supports the University of ߲ݴý’s focus on research culture.

The new framework, which was informed using insight from technicians across the University and funded from Research England, also helps tackle risks such as an ageing technical workforce, by enhancing the attraction of a technical career and acknowledging the importance of such roles across the sector. It also aims to challenge negative perceptions of technicians being a non-specialist role.

Ian Wright, Director of HR and Chair of the University of ߲ݴý Technical Leadership Group said: “Our technical career route is an important part of our work to address some of the widely acknowledged barriers to technical progression, including inconsistencies in roles and terminology and lack of recognition and understanding of technical skills, roles and careers. This is a nationwide challenge in higher education and we hope that by bringing more consistency and focus to technical careers, we can better support and develop technical talent and expertise.”

The career route is one of many things the University is doing to support technicians. It has already committed to championing technicians through internal advocacy groups and a pledge to the national , hosted within the.
 

In 2016, the University also launched the National Technician Development Centre (NTDC) based in ߲ݴý. Available to universities across the UK, the NTDC provides higher education institutions with access to information, expertise and tools to enable them to create a sustainable future for their technical staff and services.

Penny Jackson, Chair of the University of ߲ݴý Technical Delivery Group, said: “Technicians are the backbone of research and education, yet their roles are often overlooked. They also have a host of transferable skills that mean they are well equipped to progress up the career ladder and they can and should move around to further their careers. Creating a career route like this and standardising job descriptions is an important step in the right direction and should be a prompt for other higher education institutions to make a similar step change.”