We were commissioned to create this inspiring short film by The Science Council and The Gatsby Charitable Foundation. It was screened at the ‘One Year In’ event at the Tower of London in November 2018 for Lord Sainsbury and selected guests.
The Technician Commitment is a university and research institution initiative led by a steering group of sector bodies, with support from the Science Council and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s Technicians Make It Happen campaign. The Commitment aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research across all disciplines. Universities and research institutes are invited to become signatories of the Technician Commitment and pledge action against the key challenges affecting their technical staff. More than 35 universities and research institutions from across the UK have backed a pledge to support their technicians. Five target areas have been identified, which universities and institutions will work to improve to safeguard vital technical skills. The commitment will ensure greater visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians across all disciplines.
The commitment comes at a key time as the demand for technicians is increasing. More than 1.5 million technicians currently work in the UK, which is expected to rise by around 70,000 each year. Vice Chancellors and Directors of Research Institutes from leading institutions across the UK have recognised the need to ensure sustainability by safeguarding technical skills across their organisations by utilising and developing expertise.
For this film we were tasked with a country-wide itinerary to collect testimonials from some of the UK’s leading universities and research facilities including University of Edinburgh, University of York, King’s College London and MRC Harwell Research Institute, Oxfordshire. Through a series of unscripted, naturalistic testimonials from those who had seen the results of the commitment and beautiful supporting footage of the sites visited, we created a film worthy of the important scheme it was promoting. As an added bonus, with some careful planning and remote editing capabilities on site we were even able to include some vox pops and footage captured that very same day. The finished film was praised by Lord Sainsbury and is being used to continue promoting the scheme across the country.
Speaking at the event David Sainsbury said: “What has been achieved in just the first year has exceeded all expectations. Rather than simply getting their house in order and putting a plan together, the vast majority of early signatories have forged ahead and already made significant changes. Demonstrable progress has been achieved both within institutions and across the sector more widely.”