Seven UK technicians were the first to be presented with the new Registered Science Technician (RSciTech) accreditation today.
The secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, Vince Cable, and Lord Sainsbury of Turville presented certificates for the technicians at the Strengthening our Technician Workforce event in London, organised by Lord Sainsbury’s Gatsby Foundation.
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Lord Sainsbury said technicians are the lifeblood of the high-tech economy, so he was “delighted” that the Registered Science Technician scheme had been launched.
“I am particularly pleased to be able to present these first Registered Science Technician certificates to such a talented group of people," he said.
“Our future industrial success depends on attracting highly able and dedicated people to technician roles both now and in the future. It is crucial that we create well-established routes for young people to acquire technician qualifications which are valued by employers and help young people to get better paid and more exciting jobs.”
Technicians working for EDF Energy’s nuclear team were among the first to receive the RSciTech accreditation.
EDF Energy nuclear generation chemistry apprentice Harry Fox said of his achievement: “I am delighted to be awarded the professional technician standard as recognition of my developed levels of technical skills and experience. I hope it will lay the foundation for future success in my career.”
Earlier this year, the Technician Council announced that the UK needs to train 450,000 science and engineering technicians by 2020 if the country is to secure economic growth. However, a poll by research firm MORI/IPSOS released this week found that 63% of young people do not know much about the work that technicians do.
Diana Garnham, chief executive of the Science Council, said: “We hope that the opportunity to receive accreditation will not only inspire technicians working at this level to take further qualifications, but will also show that being a science technician is a worthwhile and fulfilling career.”