University of Sheffield honoured with Employer Champion award for supporting technicians

The University of Sheffield has been honoured with a Science Council’s Employer Champion Award in recognition of its commitment to highlighting the value and importance of its technical staff.

Employers Champion award presentation

Belinda Phipps, CEO of the Science Council, presented the award to the University of Sheffield’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, at the TechNet networking event - a special celebratory event held at the University for its technicians.

The award follows the University’s Technical Development and Modernisation project, in partnership with the Institute of Science and Technology (IST), which seeks to understand and find solutions to the looming crisis in technical expertise in the UK.

In 2016, the University launched the UK’s first National Centre for Professional Technicians in Higher Education, which brings together experts and resources for universities in the UK to deliver a sustainable future for technical staff and services in the 21st century.

The TechNet event saw technicians from the University receive their Professional Registration Awards, as well as a talk by Sir Keith – who is also the President of the Science Council - on the important role that technicians play in higher education and their impact on the UK economy.

Tracy Wray, Director of HR and Communication at the University of Sheffield, also gave a talk on the actions the University is taking to support the apprenticeship scheme.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: "It gives me very great pleasure to accept the Employer Champion Award, both as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield and as President of the Science Council. Both organisations are deeply committed to the vital importance of technical staff and to their development."

He added: “Our University is deeply committed to technical education and professional development and we recognise the vital importance of technicians to the future of scholarship and the UK. We know that to thrive in the future, we will need all the skills which allow us to discover and understand the world, to address its challenges and to create the wealth the nation will need in the years ahead."

Additional Information

Science Council

The Science Council provides the quality assurance system for those working in science. It sets the standards for professional registration for practising scientists and science technicians, across all scientific disciplines.

The Science Council is also a membership organisation made up of professional bodies and learned societies from across the full range of science based disciplines.

The Technical Development and Modernisation project

The University's Technical Development and Modernisation project has been developed through collaboration with a number of HE partners and brings together initiatives that aim to ensure recognition and development of the technical workforce.

The scheme, which will be rolled out across all higher education institutions in England, aims to enhance the excellence and efficiency of the technical workforce by creating a national toolkit for progression and sharing best practise.

The University of Sheffield

With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For- Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For further information please contact:

Maddy Wainwright
Media & PR Apprentice
University of Sheffield
0114 222 1047