Students at the Heart Conference: Enhancing career opportunities for technicians



Enhancing career opportunities for technical staff is a new priority for the University after becoming a partner with OFS-backed agency, the National Technician Development Centre.

In a presentation at the Students at the Heart Conference, John Trantom (HR) outlined a desire to create a new cross-institutional structure of support for technicians, whom none us couldn’t do without.

LJMU had signed up to the Technician Commitment a number of years ago with little impact but a fresh bid led by John, Jason Boulter (HR) and Dr Kehinde Ross (PBS) is opening up new opportunities.

The first step is establishing a baseline of skills, both technical and managerial across the institution and addressing the key question: ‘What do technical staff want and need?’

A working group representing all five faculties and library services is the main driver of the agenda and the first main piece of work is a survey run by NTDC to establish baseline needs.

NTDC’s Ollie Manton said the survey would help LJMU understand the breadth of skills and ambitions among its staff.

“You can tell us all about your personal career and how you hope and expect it to develop,” said Ollie.

“Whatever you need to get there, either ourselves or the university can offer as support.”

The survey, which launches in October, takes around 30-50 minutes to complete and will be open for 4-5 weeks.

“Surveys we have done for around 20 universities have thrown up data such as a lack of females in a discipline or the disappearance of the last member of staff to possess a valued skill,” he said.

Katie Farrance, technical support manager in the Faculty of Science, said the NTDC and Working Group was enabling the creation of a new, thriving community for technicians.

“We have a Teams group where colleagues can get involved and make suggestions. We all have similar needs and we hope this new conversation will lead to greater engagement internally and externally.”

And remember, our Vice-Chancellor Mark Power started out as a technician!

For more information contact John j.trantom@ljmu.ac.uk or Katie k.farrance@ljmu.ac.uk

 


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