A National Report Reveals New Strategic Insight into the UK’s Higher Education and Research Technical Community

A new report which has generated strategic insight into the role of technicians in academia, research and innovation reveals a bold vision to strengthen the UK’s position in science, engineering and the creative industries.

The TALENT Commission, funded by Research England, which is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), has published new data about skills, roles and careers of the UK’s technical talent and 16 targeted recommendations for the sector.

These recommendations call for a broadening of technical career entry routes across vocational and academic pathways, investing in technical careers at all levels, ensuring that technical staff are involved and considered in decision making processes to strengthen and sustain the technical workforce.

The research highlights the extent to which employers, professional bodies, government and funders would benefit from collaboratively implementing the proposed changes to strengthen technicians’ vital role in teaching, research and development.

“The UK is striving to become a global superpower in science, engineering, and the creative industries. The TALENT Commission sets out a clear vision to help make this happen. This can only be achieved with the right technical capability and capacity across academia, research, education, and innovation.

“Our research also identified that a proportion of technicians involved in teaching and learning activities are doing so with little recognition or support yet many learning environments heavily rely on the support of technicians.”

Professor Sir John Holman, Chair of the TALENT Commission


“The depth of insight The TALENT Commission has generated provides a strong foundation to empower, upskill and create career opportunities for a UK-wide workforce of around 30,000-50,000.

“It is vital that these recommendations are integrated into and expand on existing UK-wide initiatives like the Technician Commitment to build on the work that has already been done. When the sector starts to think more strategically about the role of technicians, we can unlock even greater research potential.”

Kelly Vere MBE, TALENT Project Lead and Technician Commitment Programme Director

The full report is available to read here.

Discover what the Science Council does to support technicians through Kelly’s work with Technician Commitment and our Technical Pathways Project.