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UK will need 50% more technicians by 2020

26 March, 2012

An 18-month review by the Government’s Technician Council has revealed that the UK will need 450,000 new skilled technician jobs by 2020 to boost the economy and to help ensure that the UK stays competitive internationally.

There are currently more than one million people working as professional technicians across all sectors in the UK, but the country will need almost 50% more within eight years. Although demand for technical skills is increasing, recruitment is failing to keep pace.

A new initiative has therefore been launched to raise the profile of technicians, to offer them professional recognition and development, and to provide them with a dedicated Web site (above).

“We have launched this scheme to show that professional technicians are essential to delivering growth in the 21st century and that they are highly skilled individuals,” say Nigel Fine, chief executive of the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) and a member of the Technician Council. “Responsible employers can now demonstrate their commitment by developing professional technicians to nationally recognised levels.”

“Increasing the pool of home-grown technical skills in the UK is good for our economy and good for individuals,” adds Steve Holliday, CEO of the National Grid, who chairs the Technician Council. “There is evidence that our competitors around the world have already recognised the value of technical skills and are taking action to get at the forefront of technology and innovation.”

Following the review, the Council has developed a set of eight recommendations aimed at helping to fill the gap. These include using the “professional technician” brand and supporting the registration and professional development of technicians.

The Council hopes that these recommendations will generate the momentum needed to build a new professional technician standard, increase the pool of home-grown technical skills and ultimately, help bridge the skills gap in the UK.

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