Today employers and other skills champions have pledged their support to professional technicians aimed at reducing the severe skills gap and helping the nation regain its number one position for creativity and innovation.

Steve Holliday FREng, CEO of National Grid plc and Chairman of the Technician Council – the government funded body tasked with reviewing and making recommendations on the future of technicians – launched the Commitment in London today in front of a large audience of employers, Sectors Skills Councils, professional bodies and government officials. He said:

“Increasing the pool of home grown technical skills in the UK is good for our economy and good for individuals. There is evidence that our competitors around the world have already recognised the value of technical skills and are taking action to get at the forefront of technology and innovation. There is also evidence that jobs requiring higher levels of technical expertise provide a unique, transferable and increasingly sought after skills - as well as providing an interesting and worthwhile career route.

“The pace of technological development in the modern workplace is creating an urgent and growing demand for higher levels of technical skill and professionalism. An estimated 450,000 job opportunities will be created by 2020, which require these higher skill levels. We need a clear, credible plan of action to up-skill and increase the pool of home grown talent if we are to maintain a competitive edge and boost growth in the UK economy through innovation and creativity.”

The recommendations from the review are aimed at providing clear, structured career paths for professional technicians, which will meet future skills needs in the UK. They strengthen the infrastructure underpinning the registration and professional development of technicians, provide active support and increase the pool, status, transferability and diversity of professional technicians across all sectors of industry.

Philip Greenish, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering said

“The Royal Academy of Engineering has been delighted to host the Technician Council for the last 18 months. Going forward, we will be playing our part in the work of the Council by monitoring employment trends for science, engineering and technology occupations; continuing to clarify and strengthen the provision of STEM qualifications in schools and the FE and Skills sector; and developing CPD opportunities for professional technicians, including our Technician Secondment Programme launched in 2011 with support from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851”

The Technician Council’s report published today is available at:
www.professional-technician.org.uk/report.php

Video footage is available at:
www.broadcastexchange.tv/live/employers-back-new-commitment-to-professional-technicians

Notes for editors

  1. The Technician Council was formed in July 2010 following two influential government White Papers examining the national skills strategy for future growth, which highlighted the economic need for the UK to recognise and develop a modern class of technician.

    The Technician Council’s work is funded by the government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and their main aim is to raise the profile of technicians and provide professional recognition and robust development for those working in technical based roles. The findings from their work and set of recommendations for improving the future landscape in technical skills are based on employer’s needs and aim to substantively bridge the technical skills gap and ultimately deliver growth for the UK economy.

    The Technician Council is chaired by Steve Holliday FREng, CEO of National Grid plc and hosted by The Royal Academy of Engineering. The membership is a collaboration among leading organisations and major employers representing technical skills in the science, engineering and all sectors of employment.

    For more information on professional technician and the work, findings and recommendations of the Technician Council please visit:
    www.professional-technician.org.uk
  2. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Jane Sutton at The Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel. 020 7766 0636; email: Jane Sutton