Menu Close


Log in to personalise your experience and connect with IOP.

UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy funds five new Physics Technical Apprentices

29 April 2024

Five UK universities receive a share of £100,000 to employ a new Physics Technical Apprentice within their organisation.

The University of Glasgow, University of Leicester, University of Manchester, University of Strathclyde and University of York have each been awarded £20,000 by the UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy (ITSS) to create new technical apprenticeship roles to help tackle the ageing workforce within physics.

A significant challenge for the future of technical skills in this sector is that 45% of technicians involved in physics research and teaching within UK universities are aged 51 or over.

Now this initial two-year pilot project, supported by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), aims to fill the ageing-workforce gap through targeted investment.

Kelly Vere, Director of ITSS and University Director of Technical Strategy for the University of Nottingham, said: “We are excited to invest a total of £100,000 this year to accelerate the number of technical apprentices being recruited into Physics Technical Apprentice positions.

“Five new technical apprentice jobs will be created as a result, helping to bridge the skills gap within this discipline and create a more sustainable technical workforce and kickstart a new pipeline of technicians stepping into roles which are critical to world-class research and innovation.

“A second funding call will open in early 2025 when we intend to fund a further five apprenticeships within physics from a share of £100,000.”

Louis Barson, Director of Science, Innovation and Skills, IOP, said: “We are proud to support ITSS to deliver this new national pilot. We are excited that this pilot is developing new ways to develop future careers for new Physics Technical Apprentices nationally and that the first funding round was a success.”

Dr Luke Davis, Joint Head of Research Infrastructure at EPSRC, said: “A diverse technical workforce is key to the success of the UK’s research and innovation ecosystem. This pilot initiative within the field of physics will be an ideal test bed to launch similar schemes in the future, if successful.”

For more information about the scheme visit the ITSS website.