Oliver Letwin and John Hayes endorse technician shortage scheme 26 March 2012

MPs Oliver Letwin and John Hayes today (26 March 2012) endorsed a scheme aimed at tackling the UK's massive technician skills shortage –estimated by a recent employers' review at 450,000 by 2020.

That figure – representing a more than 50% increase in the number of professional technicians over the next eight years – comes from an 18 month study, which concludes that higher skilled jobs will be central to boosting growth in the UK economy by – and to ensure that UK plc maintains a competitive edge internationally.

Hence today's launch, by the Technician Council, of a set of recommendations to employers, Sectors Skills Councils and professional bodies to address the yawning gap.

These, it believes, will generate the momentum needed to build the new professional technician standard, increase the pool of home grown technical skills and, ultimately, help bridge the skills gap in the UK.

"Science, engineering and technology are central to the government's plans for economic prosperity... This coming together of government, employers and the professions to promote and recognise great technician careers that provide wage and social mobility is a testament to the work of the Technician Council," said Oliver Letwin MP, Cabinet Office Minister.

"It is critical that society properly recognises those people who use that powerful combination of head and hands to further their own prosperity and the nation's success," stated John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning.

"We must promote the professional standing of technicians, raise their profile and encourage businesses to nurture our home grown talent, if we are to ensure we have the skills we need to compete in the high-tech, high-skilled economy of the future," he added.

"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," asserted Nigel Fine, Chief Executive of the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology), who sits on the government's Technician Council.

"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."

And Steve Holliday (pictured above centre with technicians from the MoD), CEO of National Grid and chairman of the Technician Council, said: "Increasing the pool of home grown technical skills in the UK is good for our economy and good for individuals,"

For him, it's all about the pace of technological development "creating an urgent and growing demand for higher levels of technical skill and professionalism".

Said Holliday: "We need a clear, credible plan of action to up-skill and increase the pool of home grown talent, if we are to maintain a competitive edge and boost growth in the UK economy through innovation and creativity."

The Technician Council's new initiative offers technicians enhanced public profile, professional recognition and development, plus a new national brand and website. Fine says it is all aimed at helping employers and individuals to deal with the shortage of technical skills within the UK.

The launch event today, at the London headquarters of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, is the culmination of research and recommendations that have been planned by the government-appointed Technician Council.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Institution of Electronics and
Society of Operations Engineers

This material is protected by MA Business copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.