Winners of the STEM Inspiration Awards were announced today at a reception at the House of Lords. Lord Sainsbury, founder of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, presented Henry Rae with the award for Outstanding STEM Technician, in recognition of his efforts to inform and inspire young people with apprenticeships and technical careers.

The award recognising STEM technicians comes at a key time where demand for technicians is increasing. More than 1.5 million technicians work in the UK, and estimates suggest we need 70,000 new technicians each year to meet demand.

After nine years working in industry, Henry chose to attend night classes to gain science qualifications and transform his career. Thanks to hard work, he was employed by the University of St Andrews where he found a passion for working with students and teaching.

Lord Sainsbury, founder of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, said: “I am delighted to present Henry with the award for Outstanding STEM Technician which is particularly close to my heart. The efforts of Henry and others to inspire the next generation of technicians is critical at a time when industry and our education system have come together to transform our country’s technical education system.
Raising the profile of technicians has been high on the agenda this year, with a swathe of universities and institutions across Britain backing a pledge to support their technicians. The Technician Commitment is a sector-wide initiative supported by the Gatsby Foundation’s Technicians Make it Happen campaign to address key challenges facing technical staff. Now more than half of UK universities have backed the commitment since May 2017, including the University of St Andrews.”

Kelly Vere, Higher Education Engagement Manager, Science Council, said: “Technicians are critical to the success of our universities and research institutes. The Technician Commitment is a sector wide, collaborative initiative to ensure elevated status, profile and opportunity for the technical community in higher education and research. We are delighted with the pace of engagement from the sector and look forward to working with all signatories and partners to ensure visibility, recognition, development and sustainability of technical skills and expertise.”

“Henry winning Outstanding STEM Technician through his outreach work with the University of St Andrews is a perfect example of demonstrating how a university is committed to supporting the development and visibility of its technical staff.”

To find out more about the STEM Inspiration Awards, visit: https://www.stem.org.uk/stem-inspiration-awards

To find out more about the Technician Commitment, visit: http://technicians.org.uk/techniciancommitment/