An Overview of the NTDC’s Inaugural Partner Forum

By 16th December 2019 March 27th, 2020 Blog
The NTDC’s inaugural Partner Forum was held at the Novotel in Sheffield City Centre on 13th November 2019.

We would like to say a special thank you to everyone who attended our first ever Partner Forum this November. What a successful day! We hope that everyone who attended found the event useful and informative.

The aim of our Partner Forum was to allow our partners to influence the work of the NTDC and feed in to national policy on issues relating to the sector — helping to shape the future landscape for technicians and institutions. It included interactive impact case studies and cross-functional collaboration between colleagues from our partner institutions.

Four workshops took place throughout the day, followed by a concluding panel session which had a great deal of input from our partners.


The first workshop which took place was ‘The Unmapped Road: Technical Career Pathways’, given by NTDC Specialist Advisors Dr Ian Tidmarsh and Lucy Hudson. Several group discussions took place around the Higher Education Technical Taxonomy (HETT), how existing structures differed, and the benefits and challenges of aligning to the HETT.

Following refreshments and networking, the second workshop got underway: ‘Understanding your Technical Workforce: the NTDC Technical Audit’. NTDC Operations Manager, Jared Carie, and Survey Officer, Jake Green, gave an insight into the survey, covering the entire audit process. Dr Simon Breeden, Departmental Operations Manager in Chemistry at the University of York gave a case study on the impact the survey has had on the University of York.


Our third workshop was ‘We Are Going Places: the Benefits of Taking Advantage of the Apprenticeship Levy’. Hosted by NTDC Director Natalie Kennerley and Specialist Advisor Chris Turgoose. This workshop explored how Manchester Metropolitan University has embraced apprenticeships to address technical skills shortages. Discussions were held on how this relates to the situation within attendees’ own institutions and the Level 3 Education Technician Apprenticeship framework that is currently being developed by the NTDC.

After a delicious buffet lunch provided by the Novotel, the final workshop took place: ‘CPD Central: Develop your Staff, Enhance your Organisation and Set the National Standard’. NTDC Specialist Advisor John-Paul Ashton and Consultant Ben Scott introduced CPD Central, a unique online CPD Portal currently in development by the NTDC. This provided a unique opportunity for attendees to provide feedback on the platform and inform future development of the software.


The concluding panel session was a great success, with a Slido event open to questions from all delegates throughout the day. Some really interesting discussion was sparked with great engagement from the audience. Full answers to each question asked at the event can also be found in our resource section. To conclude the day, the NTDC’s founding director, Terry Croft MBE, received a model Aston Martin for his outstanding contribution and dedication to the field and to the NTDC, as he handed over the reigns to the NTDC’s new director, Natalie Kennerley. The model was produced by the talented creative industries technicians at Manchester Metropolitan University’s PrintCity.