Public interest in the role of technicians in the UK economy has grown in recent years. One reason for this is the present government’s emphasis on the need to develop vocational skills through Apprenticeship training. Another reason is concerns about filling associate or ‘para’ professional and skilled technician roles in a number of sectors such as health care, oil, gas, electricity, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, transport equipment and broadcasting. These concerns about filling skilled technician roles have been accentuated by ageing among the current technician workforce. In order to explore some of the key issues surrounding technician employment, education and training in the UK economy, this report focuses on one of the most important categories of technician, namely, science, engineering and technology (SET) technicians. Through a statistical and literature survey, it aims to address the following
- Where are SET technicians employed in the UK economy and what are their main tasks and responsibilities?
- How well does the evolving mix of Bachelor degree graduates and holders of vocational qualifications in SET-related employment meet the skill requirements of employers?
- What gaps (if any) do employers identify in the skills possessed by SET technicians?
- How well do different modes of technician education and training in SET-related areas prepare trainees for subsequent employment?
- What are the main factors which either encourage individuals to participate in SET technician-level education or training or discourage them from doing so?