Prospect has struck a formal agreement with Diamond Light Source – Britain’s answer to the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland – to work together to raise the status and registration of technicians across the business.
The union has more than 120 members among the 500 strong workforce at the site of the particle accelerator in Oxfordshire. The facility is used by more than 3,000 researchers in disciplines ranging from energy and engineering to nanoscience and environmental science.
This is a question that Prospect has sought to clarify since embarking upon its project to raise the status and value of technicians. Its own research indicates that it has in excess of 1,300 members who define themselves as technicians and many more, such as technologists, technical offices and technical support that may come under the broad definition.
The Prospect union, which represents more than 115,000 skilled workers across hundreds of companies and public bodies, is pushing ahead with developing mentoring support after the success of a two year pilot, which concluded last year.
As Prospect’s life-long learning officer I was heavily involved in both helping to put the pilot together and assessing its impact. Having done that I believe workplace-related mentoring can offer significant benefits to mentee, mentor and employer.
Prospect is one of just two trade unions which have today joined with key employers and major infrastructure projects to find lasting solutions to the shortage of engineering skills considered vital to the UK economy.
The EngTechNow charter was signed by Prospect at the parliamentary launch of a report into emerging approaches to the skills and experience gap in engineering. The report sets out some of the practical steps needed across industry to ensure the economy can continue to thrive by better developing professional technician roles.