The introduction of the Inspirational Technician Award follows recognition from government of a shortage of technicians, particularly in STEM areas in the UK. Last year’s National Strategic Skills Audit described the role of technicians as a “high priority area of critical importance to the economy”. Through this new award STEMNET and Lord Sainsbury’s Gatsby aim to improve public perceptions of a profession in high demand by employers.
Nikki Cusworth, a quality improvement technician at Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company has won the UK’s Inspirational Technician Award 2011. Nikki received the award for her work mentoring local school girls interested in technical careers, and introducing primary school children to fun engineering related projects and paper bridge-building exercises in the classroom.
Accepting the award, Nikki said: “If I am successful in encouraging others to follow in my footsteps it is because I get excited when I talk about my job. As a technician you are really valued by your employers and I hope that by working with young people, I can inspire them to find a rewarding career which they will love as much as I do.”
STEMNET creates opportunities to inspire young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This enables young people to develop their creativity, problem-solving and employability skills, widens their choices and supports the UK's future competitiveness.
STEMNET helps encourage young people to be well informed about STEM, able to engage fully in debate, and make decisions about STEM related issues.