Author: Natalie Kennerley CSci, Technical Services Development Manager, Manchester Metropolitan University
Manchester Metropolitan became an affiliate partner of the National Technician Development Centre (NTDC) in April 2018. As a Technician Commitment signatory we have made good progress in the way in which we promote, develop and recognise our talented technical staff, aligning to the 4 themes of the commitment.
We have created a Technician Commitment 24 month action plan which documents a clear plan of objectives, actions and outcomes for technicians and which is fully supported by our Vice Chancellor, Professor Malcolm Press, and our Chief Operating Officer Professor Karen Moore.
The University has invested in a technical network open to all technicians, which meets regularly with a remit to deliver activities across the University, promoting recognition and visibility of our technicians and providing career development opportunities. We have implemented a level 3 apprentice training programme bringing new talent into our workforce and helping to address recruitment challenges in some specialist skills areas.
In-house training of the apprentices by experienced technical staff helps us to retain skills within our workforce, addressing skills sustainability challenges. We are providing our technicians with opportunities to engage with the Manchester Met in-house degree apprentice programme enabling them to up-skill and study for degree level qualifications while they are in work.
In 2019 we will design and implement a technical services mentoring programme which will give technicians opportunities to learn from one another while undertaking valuable personal development.
We plan to use the NTDC skills audit to give us a greater understanding of the range of skills of our staff and to give technicians the best opportunities to use all of their skills in their daily working lives, benefiting the student experience as well as individual technicians. The skills audit will help us to manage technical skills sustainability issues within our workforce by making sure we have appropriate succession, training and investment plans in place to support our technical teams so they can continue to deliver excellent student experience and high quality research support.