The ‘bedrock’ of health data research – HDR UK signs up to The Technician Commitment
15 March 2022
The UK’s 1.5 million technicians are undervalued and lack clear career paths. HDR UK has joined more than 90 UK universities and institutes in signing The Technician Commitment in order to win greater recognition and better prospects for a growing section of the workforce and one that’s fundamental to the future of research.
Technicians make things happen. Their skills and expertise are fundamental to the success of science, including health data research, in the UK.
HDR UK has become a signatory of The Technician Commitment, a Science Council and Gatsby Foundation initiative, and will work to help achieve its four key aims:
- Visibility: ensuring that technicians and their contribution is visible within an institution and beyond.
- Recognition: supporting technicians to gain recognition through professional registration and external awards schemes.
- Career development: enabling progression with clear, documented career pathways.
- Sustainability: making sure that organisations can sustain technical skills and that they are fully utilised.
HDR UK regards the Technician Commitment as key to strengthening the country’s research capacity. There are already 1.5 million technicians in the four nations of the UK and projections suggest that another 70,000 a year will be needed.
Right now the organisation is working with the Science Council and others on how HDR UK can contribute most effectively to supporting and enhancing the careers of technicians in health data science.
Gerry Reilly, HDR UK Technologist in Residence who signed the commitment on behalf of The Institute, said:
“This is exactly the community I come from, so I am very much aware that technicians are the bedrock of the health data research that bring benefits to patient’s lives. They are unsung heroes of research. Their contribution is often undervalued and their career pathways unclear. HDR UK is excited to be part of the Technicians Commitment so we can all work together to shine a light on the amazing contribution from this community and to ensure that the serious challenges on skills, recognition and career pathways can be addressed.”
HDR UK has signed the commitment both as a supporter, and as also as an employer.
Tammy Palmer, HDR UK Head of People, said:
“At HDR UK we are committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce, we offer a wide range of roles within the institute at different levels and its fantastic to see us signing up to the Technicians Commitment. Those individuals who take up technical roles with us at any level can feel confident that they are joining an organisation that both values and supports their profession and invests in developing their career.”
The HDR UK Talent and Training team will be at the forefront of delivering on the commitment.
Rosie Wakeham, Head of Training, said:
“Technicians are a highly skilled workforce who provide a vital service to their teams but are too often undervalued. I am delighted that HDR UK is joining the growing number of organisations who have signed the Technicians Commitment and I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues at HDR UK to develop initiatives which will help improve the visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability of technicians.”
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