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Thinking outside the toolbox

Career pathways in academia are becoming more specialised. Matthew Bennett describes how one institution is trying to buck the trend.

Ever tried to remove a bolt with the wrong sized spanner? It doesn’t work. The right tool makes a difference, although having access to all those tools increases both the cost and the size and complexity of the toolbox. The alternative is to have just one tool, an adjustable spanner capable of tackling any job.

For a university, the most important set of tools comprises the people who work there. Having the right workforce, one that is well-motivated, well-remunerated and well-cared for, is the best way of delivering a university’s strategic aims. Traditional academic career frameworks have their job descriptions, professional development schemes, career pathways and pay or reward packages. They help create effective and efficient employees while balancing competing pressures on academic time.

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