The HEaTED Northern Regional networking event, which took place at the University of Sheffield on the 5th of July, saw technicians attend from across the region – from Derby to Liverpool.
The theme of this HEaTED networking event was the ‘Technician Commitment’, an initiative introduced in 2017 and led by sector bodies including the Science Council and Gatsby to raise the visibility and status of technical staff working in Higher Education.
With over half of UK Universities now signed up to the Technician Commitment, it was good to have an event focused on some of the issues the Commitment is aiming to tackle.
Jane Ginniver, HEaTED regional coordinator for the North and HR Manager (Organisation Development) at the University of Sheffield, kicked off the event with some introductory networking.
The first workshop was lead by John-Paul Ashton, a technician at the University of Sheffield and Executive Support Officer for the Institute of Science and Technology and introduced us to the Technician Commitment.
JP told us what Sheffield is doing to meet the Commitment – such as technicians networking group TechNet, professional registration, and using the TDM Toolkit. If you want to find out more about how the University of Sheffield is meeting the Technician Commitment, visit the TechNet webpages.
Next, Jane did a session on Visibility which is one of the key areas of the Technician Commitment. The activity included getting us to consider our working relationships and people who are important to the work we do – and by doing this, how we can raise our visibility in the workplace.
After a spot of lunch and networking, we heard from Martin Bentley on how Union Learn are supporting technicians working towards professional registration.
Next, we had an interactive session led by Suhel Miah, HEaTED Programme Manager, who got us to consider why professional development is important to us and about the best ways we can increase our own professional recognition.
Lastly, our own Karen Bailey-Smith, Specialist Advisor for the National Technician Development Centre, got us thinking about our own career pathways and how they may have been linear or convoluted and who has helped us along the way.
Jane concluded the event by getting us to think about what we can all do to increase the sustainability of technical skills across our institutions.
Overall, it was a great day which really got us all thinking about our own professional development and recognition.
For more information on HEaTED and for a list of their upcoming events, visit their website.