The University of Sheffield is leading a £400,000 scheme to tackle a blackhole in the number of skilled technicians.
Research by the Technician Council found the UK must educate another 450,000 technicians across all sectors by 2020 to address a massive skills shortage.
To help tackle this problem, the University of Sheffield has secured £400,000 from the Higher Education Funding Council for England to pioneer careers for technicians and bring new blood into the profession.
On average universities are set to lose between 25-35 per cent of highly skilled professional technicians in the next three to five years as many reach retirement age.
The initiative will run alongside a professional accreditation scheme offered by the Institute of Science and Technology.
Terry Croft, director of technical development at Sheffield University and also chairman of the IST, said: “There is a stigma surrounding what a professional technician is which means many people think it’s a job rather than a career.
“We want to demonstrate they can have a career for life.