New champion for skilled technicians announced

The government today welcomed the appointment of National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday as chairman of a new national Technician Council.

Business, Innovation and Skills Minister Pat McFadden said: "Employers must be able to find skilled technicians and be confident that their knowledge and abilities have been rigorously assessed. The new Technician Council has a vital role to play in bringing together all of those who employ and train technicians to make this happen.”

McFadden went on to say that the Council will also champion rising standards and promote the immense value of technicians to the economy. He said: “I believe that Steve Holliday has the experience and ability to drive this agenda forward."

A working group including the Engineering Council, Science Council, Royal Academy of Engineering and others was brought together under Lord Sainsbury’s leadership last year to explore issues surrounding the professional registration of technicians.

Sainsbury said: "The supply of technicians is critical to the long term health of the UK economy, and in my discussions with key stakeholders in industry, government, public services and the professional bodies I have found widespread support and great enthusiasm for action to improve it.

"The establishment of the Technician Council will provide a simple and effective mechanism for channelling this support into promoting the professional status of and recognition for technicians."

Initially, the Technician Council will aim to expand and develop technician registration schemes by:

  • helping facilitate the initial drafting of registration standards
  • ensuring that appropriate support, professional development and information is made available alongside registration for individual technicians; and

  • promoting the professional status of and recognition for technicians, including marketing and policy influence roles.

Technician Council chairman Steve Holliday said: "As the Chief Executive of National Grid I am only too aware of how important technicians are to the success of our business. I am delighted to have been asked to chair the Technician Council. I look forward to working with other key stakeholders to build a framework for a modern class of technician to ensure that this critical role in the workplace is more widely recognised and respected.

"I am particularly keen to ensure that young people have a better understanding of what technicians do and the rewards that training to be one brings them."

For more information on Skills for Growth, see

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