NTDC Announces New Director for 2022/23

By 26th January 2022 Blog, News
Natalie Kennerley will be stepping down from her seconded role as Director of the National Technician Development Centre on January 31st 2022. Deputy Director, Mel Leitch will be stepping up as the new Director moving forwards.

The NTDC has existed in its current form since 2017. Within this time the centre has seen significant developments within the technical sector. The NTDC remains passionate about the technical community within Higher Education and Research and has worked tirelessly to support the technical sector as it has adapted to this changing landscape.

Founding Director, Terry Croft MBE, laid the foundation stones for what is a respected, valued and impactful body now firmly embedded within Higher Education and Research. Upon Terry’s retirement during the summer of 2019, Natalie undertook a 30 month secondment from her substantive role as Technical Services Development Manager at Manchester Metropolitan University. Under Natalie’s Directorship, she has developed and grown the centre, creating a business strategy that underpins the work of the NTDC.

Of her time as Director of NTDC, Natalie Kennerley said, “I am proud of the centre’s achievements and how it has continued to flourish during my leadership, increasing income and partner affiliates as well as the development of existing and new training courses for technical staff through the absorption of the technical training provider, HEaTED. We have striven to widen the reach of the NTDC and the positive impact it has on the technical sector including the provision of funding opportunities for technical staff through our development fund and the promotion of technical roles to the next generation of technicians through our outreach work.”

Natalie will be stepping down as Director at the end of January. However, she recognises the importance of the work which is undertaken by the NTDC and will continue to support this activity in a less formal and scaled back position as Strategy Consultant. “I would like to offer thanks to Manchester Metropolitan University for allowing me this secondment opportunity,” said Natalie, “the skills I have acquired have enabled me to add value to MMU Technical Services and to better support the University’s strategic ambitions.”

The centre is now entering a new phase under the Directorship of Mel Leitch who takes up a one year secondment from his substantive role of Deputy Head of Infrastructure in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University (and previous Deputy Director NTDC).

Mel started his career as a trainee technician in Physiology and subsequently did his degree part-time with the Open University and then an MPhil in Neuroscience. He moved into management in 2006 but hasn’t forgotten his time as a technician and realises the crucial role technical staff have in the contribution they make to higher education. Mel has garnered a high level of respect from his peers during his time at Newcastle University. Linda Robinson, Organisational Development Lead for Professional Services at Newcastle University said, Mel has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of technical colleagues as well as bringing them closer together. I’ve worked with him over many years and he’s a great listener and well respected across the university. I wish him well and I’m sure he’ll do great things in his role at the NTDC.”

Mel has been a part of the NTDC since 2017 and has been involved with and seen how the NTDC have developed a service to HE to map technical career pathways, develop and implement a detailed skills survey, defined apprenticeship frameworks for the sector and deliver technician focussed training courses for individual technicians. Mel will be fundamental to the future success of the centre and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience.

On his new appointment, Mel Leich said, “I look forward to an exciting time and engagement with the wider technical community and I can’t wait to work with the talented NTDC team and bring my experiences from Newcastle into this role.”

Sara Bacon, Centre Manager at the NTDC said, “Having Nat as Director has been fantastic for both the team and the centre. We value Nat’s input into the strategic decisions and direction for the centre and look forward to working with her in her capacity as Strategic Consultant going forwards. In the position of Director; Mel with his wealth of experience and technical expertise will provide a leading role in guiding the centre to establishing and sustaining itself as the National point of contact for Institutions when looking to develop their technical teams. We are all excited for the future.”

As a final word, Natalie Kennerley said “I would like to thank the NTDC team for their support throughout my Directorship – for their dedication, enthusiasm, passion, and for believing in me, and our ambition to support the technical sector.” 

The NTDC would like to thank Natalie for all her incredible work with us. We look forward to a new chapter with Mel and further supporting the technical community.

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