into action. It is a very good feeling to know that the IAT youth members’ views
are valued and useful.
These meetings are a fantastic way to network, brainstorm and get your voice
* * *
I have worked as an animal technician for Manchester University for nearly
three years and for the past year I have been a youth rep for the North West
branch of the IAT.
It can be a daunting experience being new at these meetings, not knowing
anyone and not even being certain on what you will be discussing. However, the
environment is relaxed and everyone is easy to get to know. It is really good to
hear what institutions everyone works for and how each one differs in how it is
operated to the type of species it houses. This alone, has been a great platform
to explore different ideas throughout the meeting. For example, discussing
similarities and differences between each of our day to day routines has created
the idea of possibly starting an ‘animal technician exchange’ between
institutions. This gives technicians a chance to experience different types of
establishments, how other species are housed and maybe learn things to take
back to your own institution. Whether this is a short afternoon visit or something
longer, it has been a great idea that will hopefully develop further long term.
Another focus of the youth rep meetings is to raise awareness and gather
support for the Animal Science Education Trust (AS-ET). AS-ET is an important
organisation for animal technicians, as their bursaries can provide money for
short courses to higher education qualifications so helping with funding is
crucial. This past youth rep meeting in September, it was great to hear how
some of our ideas that we put forward in the previous meeting in May had
been implemented already. It is a good feeling to know that you can potentially
make a difference and that your voice is being heard.
Overall, attending the youth rep meetings has been a great opportunity and
definitely worthwhile. It has been a good chance to speak up on issues that you
or your peers have queries about and a great way to exchange ideas between
different technicians across the country who could have the same thoughts as
you or bring something to your attention that you had never thought about
before. It is something worth recommending to the people you work with to try
and get them more involved in the IAT!