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Guest Blog: Ed’s Festival of Learning Highlights

The first ever Festival of Learning (FoL) for Technicians kicked off on Monday 14th May 2021.

The launch event was a fantastic virtual lunchtime ‘Lockdown Learning Café’ (lunch not included, sadly). The attendees heard from a panel of technicians and Higher Education experts as they described what they have learned over the last year.

There was an openness and honesty in people’s answers. The panellists felt that they will be looking to keep a ‘blended’ method of working – adopting a dynamic and flexible approach has worked well for them. When quizzed with the question, “What would you like to stay the same once we move out of this current period?” one panellist replied, “the recognition and thanks we have had from the students. The students have said that they feel safe in our buildings because of the technicians’ contributions and that is a great encouragement.”

Why not sign up for the future cafés, the ‘Careers Café’ on Friday 8th June at 11.30am or the ‘Collaboration Learning Café’ on Friday 11th June at 12pm.

At the ’Coaching Practice Session’ on Tuesday 25th May, there was an opportunity to pair up and test drive some newly-acquired coaching techniques in a safe space.

Intriguingly, the Wednesday session on ‘Risk Management’ looked at the ‘Swiss Cheese Model’ and the ‘Bow-Tie Technique’. If you missed these then please note that the TALENT training team are looking to run both of these again in the summer and autumn periods.

Before that, and coming up on Thursday, is an event about ‘Effective Meetings’ - technicians from across the Midlands Innovation partnership can learn from one another and share experiences as they get together in breakout rooms.

Let’s finish by taking a deeper dive into the topic of registration for professional bodies. At the FoL event on Tuesday, technicians joined TALENT Technical Careers Advisor expert Michelle Jackson to explore the topic of ‘Professional Registration for Technicians’.

One participant fed back, 

I really enjoyed this course and found it much more informative and helpful than other courses I have attended in the past on similar subjects.

Participants learnt about the benefits of registration not just for their organisation but for them as individuals. Benefits include increased recognition as a professional practitioner and improved job applications and that you are joining a wider community of technicians from different sectors. You can also take advantage of professional body benefits (networking, development opportunities etc.).

Here are some quotes from technicians who have previously registered: 

“It is good to feel part of a wider technical family!” 

“It is being recognised increasingly in industry, for example Astra Zeneca.” 

“Professional Registration will strengthen your hand in the job market.” 

“If people don’t know what a good job we do, then the risk is that what we do becomes undervalued."

“Before I registered, I had nothing to really show that my career had progressed with the experience I had gained.” 

A practical approach to completing the Science Council competency forms is happening on Thursday 26th May at the ‘Professional Registration Scheme’ workshop. We are pleased to have Laurence Dawkins-Hall join us from the Science Council to guide participants through the process.

Join the conversation online at @MI_Talent #TechTalent FOL21

See you soon at one of our future events!

Written by Ed Bowerman, TALENT Technical Training Manager