Nigel Fine

Scheme to tackle technical skills shortage launched

A scheme to help employers and individuals deal with the shortage of technical skills in the UK has been launched today.

The new initiative, which has been endorsed by government ministers Oliver Letwin and John Hayes, offers technicians enhanced public profile, professional recognition and development, plus a new national brand and website.

Nigel Fine, Chief Executive of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), who sits on the Government’s Technician Council said: “We have launched this scheme in order to show that professional technicians are essential to delivering growth in the 21st Century and that they are highly skilled individuals.

“Responsible employers can now demonstrate their commitment by developing professional technicians to nationally recognised levels. The IET warmly welcomes this new initiative and we will do all we can to support it.”

The Technician Council’s review has found that by 2020, 450,000 new professional technicians will be needed.

To help develop so many new professional technicians, the public and private sectors are being urged to have existing technicians register with a professional body, like the IET. The plan is that enhanced recognition, rewards and life-long learning opportunities will bring more young people into the professional technician career path.

The launch event today, at the London headquarters of the IET, is the culmination of research and recommendations that have been planned by the Government appointed Technician Council.

The eight recommendations from the Technician Council review are to:

  • Endorse and promote professional technicians across every sector of employment, within professional bodies or education and training.
  • Support the registration and professional development of technicians.
  • Offer active support for professional technicians and promote their skills and contributions within the sector.
  • Improve communications on career choices and include the different training and skills pathways, sector skills transferability, development programmes, gateways to higher levels.
  • Raise the profile of the professional technician in Government communications to the young.
  • Use the professional technician brand as widely as possible.
  • Promote greater diversity within the technician workforce ensuring the future professional technician population is more representative of society.
  • Sustain the work of the Technician Council to promote and increase the numbers of professional technicians over the next three years, ensuring a sustainable platform for the future.

See the new website for professional technicians.

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