Members of the NTDC team were delighted to attend the TechYork Summer Conference on Tuesday the 2nd of July.
Hosted in the Department of Biology at the University of York, organisers had planned a full day of talks and networking for technical staff at York.
Over 100 technicians attended the Conference, which was kicked off by Lucy Hudson, Operations Manager in the Department of Biology. Lucy took us through some of the initial results from the NTDC Skills Survey that was completed by 86% of York’s technical staff.
“44% of technicians are providing personal support to those around them, with the vast majority (72%) of these including professional support for students.”
“38% of technicians who feel they have management responsibilities, having received no training or development to support them with these responsibilities”
“15% of technicians listed themselves as Professionally Registered. People feel the main obstacles to Professional Registration are not seeing the benefit, the cost and in some cases, close to retirement.”
“In terms of career development, a number of technicians have requested support with career planning and also training that would help their development.”
They will be analysing the results of the survey in more depth over the coming months.
Lucy also announced the winners of the Amazon vouchers for technicians who had completed the Skills Survey, with ten technicians each receiving a £50 amazon voucher.
The first guest speaker of the day was Andy Connelly, a recent Technician and Laboratory Manager at the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds and now a stay at home dad.
Andy did a great talk on technicians that have been missed out of the history books and not recognised for their technical skills and contributions. One technician Andy spoke about was Fanny Hesse, who, alongside her husband Walther Hesse, developed agar as a medium for culturing microorganisms.
You can read more about history’s forgotten technicians on Andy’s blog ‘Technician Journey’.
After a delicious lunch, lots of networking and visiting all the supplier stands, was a talk by Professor Dave Smith of the University of York. His talk on the ‘chemistry of afternoon tea’ was followed by scones, cream and jam.
It was great to see so much engagement from the technical staff at York and we look forward to continuing to work together in the future.
You can find out more about TechYork on their website.