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Loughborough joins UK’s first policy commission focused on vital technical community

Ray Chung, Head of IT Support at Loughborough University has joined the Board of Commissioners on the country’s first policy commission focused on the advancement of the sector’s 30,000 strong technical community.

Technicians play an integral role in academic research, including supporting the UK’s scientific response to COVID-19, and in the longer term, enabling pioneering research and development to support the recovery of the UK economy and underpinning the country’s investment aspirations of reaching 2.4% of GDP in R&D.

The TALENT Policy Commission will investigate the sector’s future need for technical talent, exploring government policy implications and the impact of increasing focus on collaboration with industry, before compiling a range of recommendations for the sector which it will publish in a national report that will provide new understanding on the UK’s technical skills needs of the future. 

Itwill gather evidence from a range of stakeholders including technicians, academics, university management, funders, students and policymakers.

The policy commission is part of the £4.99M TALENT programme, a project led by Midlands Innovation to advance recognition and opportunity for the technical community in higher education and research. TALENT is underpinned by a grant of more than £3M from the Research England Development Fund. The remainder of the funding is being provided by the Midlands Innovation consortium university members as well as key partners including the Science Council, Technician Commitment, Wellcome Trust, British Geological Survey, Rolls Royce plc, Unilever and Midlands Engine.

As well as the national policy commission, the programme will develop innovative ways to deliver culture change to strengthen technical career opportunities, and a technical training programme which will include funding for technicians across the MI partnership to access staff development and training to address specific skills gaps.

Read the full press release on the Midlands Innovation website.