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Technician membership drive gets £2M funding from Lord Sainsbury

Lord Sainsbury’s Gatsby charitable foundation has agreed funding of £2M for the EngTechNow campaign over the next two years.

Nick Baveystock

Baveystock: Technicians are a vital part of the skills mix

The campaign aims to raise the status of engineering technicians and aims to get the number of registered engineering technicians (EngTechs) up to 100,000 by 2020.

The EngTechNow campaign - led by the ICE, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Institution of Engineering & Technology with the Engineering Council - was first announced by the prime minister in 2013.

It was officially launched during National Apprenticeship Week in March this year, with the support of an initial £1M donation from the Gatsby charitable foundation.

At the launch, senior figures from Crossrail, global defence company BAE Systems, Bam Nuttall, Atkins and NG Bailey pledged to increase the number of EngTechs in their own workforce.

The Gatsby donation will allow the EngTechNow campaign to go nationwide, helping a wider range of large and small engineering companies recognise that those who have come through vocational training and apprenticeship routes can achieve professional status as engineering technicians.

The Gatsby foundation says it plans to continue funding the project until 2018.

ICE director general Nick Baveystock said: “Engineering technicians form a vital part of the skills mix, offering specialist skills and techniques and solving complex problems - ultimately they help to deliver infrastructure projects efficiently and on time,” he said. “But we must do more to boost their status and show youngsters and employers the different paths that can lead to a lifelong career in engineering.

“This vital, additional support from the Gatsby foundation is excellent news, enabling us to increase our reach significantly, and take this important campaign to the next level.”

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