Frontier was commissioned to independently assess the economic value of implementing the TALENT Commission report recommendations.
The TALENT Commission was launched in 2020 to provide new insights into technical skills, roles and careers in UK higher education and research. It sits within the broader Research England funded TALENT programme which aims to advance status and opportunities for technical staff in the UK higher education sector.
After a two year work programme, the Commission published a report in February 2022. Its recommendations aim to ensure that the UK has the technical capability and capacity across academia, research, education, and innovation to enable it to be a global superpower in science, engineering, and the creative industries, and that technical skills, roles, and careers will be recognised, understood, developed, respected, and aspired to.
Frontier was commissioned to independently assess the economic value of implementing the TALENT Commission report recommendations. Our report was launched yesterday evening at ‘The Talent Commission – Progress and Impact, One Year On’, with Dan Popov presenting our findings.
The report provides early evidence on some of the changes which have been implemented to date based on interviews with stakeholders, a literature review and analysis of secondary data. Key findings in the report include:
- Implementing the TALENT Commission recommendations will ensure that the UK has the technical capability and capacity across academia, research, education, and innovation to enable the UK to be a global superpower in science, engineering, and the creative industries, and that technical skills, roles, and careers will be recognised, understood, developed, respected, and aspired to.
- The enactment of the recommendations has the potential to lead to a more diverse, skilled and motivated technician workforce with reduced staff shortages and lower attrition rates. The workforce, therefore, will be better placed to deliver teaching and research improving the volume, quality and integrity of research and the student experience. The sector will also benefit from lower recruitment costs.
- This will create significant economic benefits for universities and research institutes which spill-over into the wider economy. We estimate conservatively that the value to the UK economy will run into the hundreds of millions of pounds. The economy will also benefit from improved skills and innovation due to improvements in teaching and research – and these benefits are likely to feed through to further increases in GDP and wider economic benefits.
This report is a first step towards understanding the likely size of the benefits of implementing the recommendations but more work is needed in the future to enable better understanding of the technician workforce and the crucial contribution technicians make in the higher education sector but also more widely across industry.
Please click here to read the full report.
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