About Us

Find out more about our story, vision and mission.

 

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Our story

The UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy was established in August 2023, building on existing programmes of work to champion the roles of technicians in higher education and research. Find out more in the explainer video.

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A shared vision

The Technician Commitment, the MI TALENT Programme and the UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy share a bold vision for the future of technical skills and careers in higher education and research.

Enabled by its technical capability and capacity across higher education, research and innovation, the UK is a global leader in science, engineering, and the creative industries and all technical careers are recognised, developed, respected, and aspired to.

Our mission

 

 

To accelerate and fulfil the potential of UK technical skills and careers across higher education, research and innovation.
We will provide insight, influence policy, inspire innovation, foster integration, promote international leadership, strengthen industry connections, and ensure long-term sustainability of technical skills and careers.
Woman looking through microscope in a lab

Our story

 

 

An evolving landscape

Since 2017, the Technician Commitment has built a strong technical community and inspired a culture shift within higher education and research. More than 115 organisations have pledged their support for the collaborative initiative which has, and continues to, increase visibility, recognition and opportunities for technical staff.

Powerful pilot initiatives

Building on the work of the Technician Commitment, the TALENT Programme launched in 2020. Acting as a research laboratory for new ideas, TALENT piloted new ideas and interventions with the Midlands Innovation technical community to influence culture change and empower technicians.

A community of 2100 technical professionals from eight Midlands-based universities benefited from bespoke learning and development opportunities, access to funds and equipment sharing initiatives, which helped to elevate and advance technical careers and skills of technical staff.

Strategic technical insights

The landmark TALENT Commission Report, published 1 February 2022, set out a vision for the future of the UK’s technical talent through 16 overarching recommendations. One of which, was the creation of a new collaborative entity to provide a conduit to the technical community, ensuring longer-term connectivity, voice and visibility for the workforce.

Scaling-up success

Now, the UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy is scaling up and scaling out successes from the Midlands-based TALENT Programme. The Institute was established on 1 August 2023 to accelerate and fulfil the potential of UK technical skills and careers across higher education, research and innovation.

The Institute has a core team delivering programmes of work and an experienced Advisory Board and Technical Council.

These groups offer guidance, support and expertise on our strategic priorities.

Click here to meet the team.

We’re proud to have the support from a range of national organisations.

Click here to learn more about our supporting partners.

Frequently asked questions
How is the Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy funded?

The Institute is funded by Research England, part of UK Research and Innovation until July 2026.

What's the different between the UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy, Technician Commitment and the MI TALENT Programme?

The Technician Commitment is a sector-wide initiative supporting the career development and sustainability of technical skills, roles and careers within higher education and research. It was formed in 2017, initially funded by the Gatsby Foundation and is now hosted by the UK Institute of Technical Skills and Strategy. The Technician Commitment is a growing community of 115+ organisations pledging to increase visibility and recognition of technicians.

The Research England funded MI TALENT Programme was established in 2020 and will conclude in 2025. The pioneering Midlands-based programme has helped to advance status and opportunities for technical skills, roles and careers in UK higher education and research. TALENT has delivered powerful pilot initiatives within the Midlands to inspire culture change and empower technicians. It has also published new strategic insights and its TALENT Commission report designed a blueprint for the future of UK technical skills, roles and careers.

The UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy will build on the work of the TALENT Programme, scaling out the best of its pilot projects and connecting the Technician Commitment community with new national networks to share best practice that can be adopted globally.

 

How do I find out more about the Technician Commitment?