If we want to prevent an imminent technical skills shortage in science and engineering – we need to enhance the excellence of the technical workforce says Terry Croft. And that’s exactly what the TDM team at Sheffield University hope to do when they launch their Toolkit for technical staff later in 2017.
In 2014 experts in the field of Technical Services Provision were brought together at Sheffield University to form the Technical Development and Modernisation (TDM) team. Funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the team is made up of staff from a number of HEIs. The TDM project – “Development & Embedding of Career Pathways for Technicians across the Higher Education Sector” – was commissioned to specifically address the issues highlighted by several reports published in recent years. Working in partnership with over thirty pilot universities, research and teaching centres, has given the TDM team the opportunity to engage with key employers, as well as access to large cohorts of technicians and related managerial staff in a variety of work roles.
Based within the National Centre for Professional Technicians in Higher Education and under the direction of Terry Croft MBE, the team has gathered an unprecedented volume of (current) data covering technical structures, job descriptions and skill sets, training provision and future needs, as well as a significant sample of institutional strategies related to workforce planning, business continuity and future proofing.
To prevent individual universities and institutions from reinventing the wheel, HEFCE will be releasing the TDM “Toolkit” in 2017.
This will bring a consistent approach to addressing all the issues related to employers and their technical communities, improving efficiency and value for money related to this high cost, high value, and yet essential resource. In addition this will address immediate problems related to talent attraction, retention and succession planning.
The IST wholeheartedly supports the work of the TDM team and acknowledges the important contribution made by HEFCE and Gatsby in respect of the project.
For more information about these exciting developements, read the excellent article in the recent edition of Laboratory News.
More information about the TDM and the basis of it’s work can be found on the TDM website.