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Technician Development

 
Person working in a workshop

Apprenticeships

The University is committed to nurturing talent and developing expertise through providing relevant apprenticeships across all of its departments and institutions.

Apprenticeships are open to all staff and now cover a huge range of subjects, many of which will be relevant to technicians.

Visit the government apprenticeship standards website to view the full list of apprenticeships. 

For further information about apprenticeships at the University visit the Apprenticeship website.

Personal and Professional Development (PPD)

Personal and Professional Development at the University offers development initiatives that complement other activities taking place in departments and those provided by other internal and external providers.

Training and development activities include face-to-face briefings, workshops and programmes as well as online modules and bitesize resources.

The PPD website has self-assessment skills templates for technicians to review current skills and identify opportunities for development.

Continuous Improvement at Cambridge (Lean Training)

Technical staff are uniquely placed. They know their facilities and processes inside out and where to improve systems. Why not use the Lean methodology and tools (originally developed by and for technical staff at Toyota) to make the time to do this and gain recognition for it in a more formal setting. The University supports and encourages that activity. More information can be found here.

Linkedin Learning

Linkedin Learning is available for all University and College staff.  This resource, widely used by many high performing Universities, offers online courses and resources on:

  • technical skills
  • professional skills, including leadership and development
  • creative skills
  • wellbeing
  • remote working

Access the LinkedIn Learning at Cambridge hub, using your Raven login.

Mentoring

Mentoring is a relationship in which an individual supports a colleague, by sharing their professional knowledge and experience, and utilising key skills and personal attributes, to enable that colleague to achieve their goals.  Mentoring can help you to:

  • Progress in your professional life/career
  • Build your networks
  • Develop your skills, knowledge and capability
  • Facilitate your personal and professional development so that you are able to fulfil your potential.

The  Self Match Mentoring programme provides mentoring opportunities for professional services staff.  There is plenty of support and guidance available to get you started. Book on to a Mentoring Basics session.

Outreach

There is an increasing gap of people with technical skills nationally. Why not help encourage the next generation to think about becoming a technician in their career? Getting involved can also help develop your project management, presentation and communication skills too. Some schemes and current opportunities are listed below but you can contact us for more information and help.

Change at Cambridge

Building on the work that OurCambridge completed, Change at Cambridge focuses on unlocking the potential of professional services staff. The term “professional services” is used to describe all non-academic staff whose roles make a critical contribution to the work of the University. Through the support provided by professional services, the University is able to deliver educational excellence and world beating research. The technicians are a key part of our professional services community.

The previous work by OurCambridge is still available on the SharePoint site where you can view some of the resources and accomplishments of the project including the JISC Digital Capabilities Tool which is a great way to reflect on your IT skills and provide ideas for further development via a simple but clear graph. You may also wish to consider becoming a Cambridge Champion and join colleagues from across the University who make up the champion community. It’s a great way to meet others and collaborate with colleagues you don’t come into contact with on a day-to-day basis as well as raise the technician agenda and promote visibility.

Networks

Although we often have certain traits in common, a technical role can leave you in a very specialist niche where even your closest colleagues may not be doing similar roles to you. If you need some help, support or advice, there are networks out there for you. Why not join some of these?

Technology Specialists Network

Technical Managers in Universities

ELIA and ETHO (Platform for professional exchange and development in Higher Arts Education)

Association of Technical Staff in Psychology

Council for Higher Education in Art and Design

Core Technologies for Life Science

University Bioscience Managers' Association

These networks are in addition to the various Professional Bodies, the Science Council and National Technician Development Center/HEaTED and of course our own resources that are well worth exploring for information on career development options.

Secondments

Secondments can help bridge the gap to the next role, thereby supporting professional development and career progression.  They increase the skills, experience and mobility of technicians within the University and support workforce and succession planning activity for departments.

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing is another way to support your career development by providing the opportunity to work alongside and gain experience of the role of another technician.  

University Projects/Groups

Looking at broader University projects and how they can be implemented in your own workplace is a great way to build on other skills beyond your normal role and connect with other groups outside of your usual workplace which can increase connectivity and help develop your career in unexpected ways. Some projects that may be suitable are listed below:

Equipment Sharing Project: 

  • ES Project and Platform ensures the University is compliant with UKRI and other funders requirements regarding making equipment available to share, increasing existing use, and therefore Return on Investment (RoI) from a funder perspective. Agreeing to share on the local platform permits local awareness (awareness across the institution to both staff and students) and data can be automatically shared with the National Equipment Portal (some 50+ UK institutions), facilitating local, regional, national and international awareness of equipment. Referencing this infrastructure in grant applications adds a crucial aspect that is under increasing scrutiny by funders and increases potential income generation to individual PI’s, Departments, and the institution as a whole. Engaging with the project provides the potential to foster better local, regional, national and international collaborations, and strengthens our ability to be at the forefront of research and benefit from the latest scientific developments https://www.equipment-sharing.cam.ac.uk/homeIf desired, A broader overview available at http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/news/university-s-research-equipment-and-facilities-sharing-database

Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework:

  • As technical staff, you will understand your workspace and are in the best position to identify changes and how to implement them. Why not suggest efficiency schemes such as LEAF or the University's Green Challenge? They could develop your skills and help the University with sustainability issues. 

Wellbeing Advocates;

  • Often technical staff act as a first post of call for other colleagues and students who may be having a hard time. Why not recognise this more officially by becoming a Wellbeing Advocate? It could help you be better equipped at this role and recognises the importance of the support we give.

 

HEaTED

HEaTED is the leading provider of professional development and networking opportunities for all disciplines of the technical workforce in higher and further education and related organisations across the UK.

National Technician Development Centre

The National Technician Development Centre for Higher Education is a one-stop-shop providing institutions access to information, expertise and tools that will enable them to create a sustainable future for their technical staff and services, as well as meet the needs of the individual technician.