UK technical workforce survey launches

Apr 25, 2024

New insights are being gathered by the Research England funded MI TALENT Programme to measure impact, outcomes and opportunities surrounding the future of UK technical skills, roles and careers in UK higher education and research.

This data will provide a clearer picture of the current landscape, building on the strategic insights gathered in 2021 about the UK’s technical workforce which informed the landmark TALENT Commission report.

Published in February 2022, the report outlined a blueprint for the future of the UK’s technical workforce and 16 recommendations to support the country’s ambitions to become a global leader in science, engineering, medicine, technologies and the creative industries.

In the first National Survey of Technical Staff conducted in February 2021, 1766 useable responses were garnered representing 90 different UK universities and 16 UK research institutes.

Now the technical professional community in higher education and research is being encouraged to complete a second survey in the final year of the project to identify tangible change and opportunities to scale up and scale out best practice across the sector.

Dr Kelly Vere MBE, TALENT Programme Lead and University Director of Technical Strategy for University of Nottingham said:

“Since launching in 2020, we have been measuring the impact of TALENT’s pilot programmes and have seen many of the recommendations in the TALENT Commission report come into fruition.”

  • Hundreds of technical professionals are benefiting from flagship leadership and development programmes which are tackling EDI challenges, growing a strong network of technical professional leaders.
  • Universities within the Midlands Innovation and N8 Research Partnership have pledged to invest in and sustain technical skills and careers, aligned with employer recommendations in the TALENT Commission.
  • In 2023, recommendation 16 of the TALENT Commission report was realised through the establishment of the UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy.

Kelly added: “Whilst these are just a few examples of undeniable culture change which have advanced status and opportunities for technical professionals, we want to better understand the experiences of the community we are advocating for.


“Technical professionals who complete the survey will influence how the UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy continues to build on the legacy of the TALENT Programme.”


“Our survey also comes at a time when the People Culture and Environment (PCE) element of REF 2029 is being refined in collaboration with the sector. Greater insights on the technical workforce, which underpins UK research and innovation, will help to encourage greater investment in a sustainable technical workforce in the UK.”

Jiteen Ahmed, Head of Technical Services at Aston University and former commissioner for the TALENT Policy Commission said:

“Since the TALENT Commission report was published in February 2022, I have already seen greater recognition and opportunities for technicians, nationally and within Aston University.


“A wealth of evidence was gathered from the technical community to inform the 16 recommendations which has led to positive changes and the advancement of technical roles and careers. I would strongly encourage technicians to share their views in this survey, as your voice really does make a difference.”

Click here to complete the research survey.

The TALENT Programme Impact Survey will close Tuesday 28th May at 9am