Unionlearn and Science Council join forces to boost science skills

Unionlearn will sign a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Science Council at its national conference on Monday (23 June 2014). The two organisations are coming together to improve the status and recognition of science technicians.

Diana Garnham, CEO of the Science Council, said:

"There is a looming skills gap for technicians in the UK. Unless we value, develop and support the science technicians of today, and commit to encouraging the technicians of the future, the UK will be inhibited from responding to the exciting opportunities ahead in all sectors of the economy.

"Professional registration of technicians and improving their access to training and development is a vital part of what we need to do now and I am delighted that the Science Council and unionlearn are going to be working together to support science technicians in this way."

The MoU will aim to:

  • Raise the status of Science technicians in the UK. 
  • Increase the number of registered technicians.
  • Help employers recognise the value of registration and a registered technician workforce.
  • Improve the diversity of the science workforce.
  • Improve union learning reps’ (ULR) capacity to support technicians’ continuous professional development in the workplace.

Tom Wilson, Director of unionlearn, said:

"We are delighted to be working with the Science Council. Professional bodies are important partners in encouraging and supporting technicians to take up registration and access learning and development opportunities. This MoU is an important building block in delivering unionlearn's Technician Pathways project."

Unionlearn is leading the Gatsby Foundation-funded 'Technician pathways' project promoting the trade union role in delivering professional registration for technicians working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) covering key sectors such as:

  • Energy
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing

Unionlearn will be working in partnership with professional bodies and other organisations to promote the professional standing of technicians, recognising the valuable contribution they make both to the economy and to our lives more broadly.

The primary aim of the project is to develop positive and sustainable relationships between professional bodies, trade unions, employers and others with a view to encouraging and supporting more workers to take up technician registration.