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Technicians under the Microscope: The Training and Skills of University Laboratory and Engineering Workshop Technicians

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-441
JournalJournal of Vocational Education and Training
Issue number4
Early online date20 Oct 2015
Accepted/In press21 Jun 2015
E-pub ahead of print20 Oct 2015


King's Authors


The UK government aims to increase both the number, and also the status, of workers with intermediate-level skills, with a view to creating a ‘modern class of technicians’ who can help to bolster economic growth and prosperity. This article considers the prospects for such a policy by focusing on one particular, but neglected, group of technicians, namely those who work in university laboratories and workshops. Data from English universities are used to shed light on the recruitment, training, skills, qualifications and career prospects of technicians. Factors shaping employer decisions about recruitment and training are examined, in the context of broader human resource management arrangements and the development of a new technician registration scheme.

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