Rise of the technicians: 700,000 roles to fill over the next decade

As many as 700,000 technicians will be needed to fill jobs across the UK. But why are these diverse and rewarding careers hidden from young people?

The term technician conjures up visions of lab coats and the smell of bunsen burners. Technicians Make it Happen, launched by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, aims to challenge this outdated stereotype.

The campaign will expose thousands of jobs open for technicians across the UK, in sectors spanning music and sport, to aerospace, film and fashion.

In hope of plugging the growing skills shortfall, the campaign is being backed by over 25 industry leaders including the BBC, Microsoft, Brompton Bikes and the Royal Air Force.

Michelle Rea, Gatsby’s Education team, said: “More than 25% of employers working in STEM are already reporting difficulty in recruiting technicians. Contrary to popular belief, technicians are not limited to the lab.

“Opportunities exist right now for young people and those seeking a change of career. We want to expose these opportunities and make a career as a technician desirable, as they really do make it happen.”

Joe Knott, STFC RAL Space, trained as a technician and now works on equipment that is out of this world: “I think it’s really exciting that something I’ve handled and helped to test is actually going to land on another planet. As a technician, I can contribute to projects that improve mankind’s understanding of the universe. I didn't think it was possible.”

Hugh Milward, Director of Corporate Affairs, Microsoft UK, said: “Technicians Make it Happen is a campaign we wholeheartedly support, not least because it matches the aspirations of so many of our apprentices, partners and customers.”

To raise awareness of industry’s hidden heroes, Gatsby are asking the public to get involved and share images of what they think technicians make happen.

The overall winner of #techniciansmakeithappen will receive a cash prize and career mentorship from industry experts. Compelling photographs, case studies and paintings of the UK’s technical class are being exhibited around the UK until the end of 2017.

For more information, visit www.technicians.org.uk, or follow the campaign on social media using the hashtag #techniciansmakeithappen.

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