Postgraduate Transferable Skills Officer
University of Cambridge

Postgraduate Transferable Skills Officer
University of Cambridge

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Matt L

00:01 My name’s Matt L and I’m the postgraduate transferable skills officer for the University of Cambridge. Basically I help and facilitate PhD students and generally postgraduate researchers with their transferable skills, most obvious example of that is through doing facilitating training courses for them.

00:23 My father was a drama and English teacher at a secondary school in Leicester I’m originally from Leicester and my mum is a computer trainer for Leicester probation service. So my dad has recently retired, he originally trained as an actor. I went to a local comprehensive in Leicester, who assumed because I was in the top set for everything that we would all go on and do A levels and all go to university and everything like that.

00:54 I’d like to say I was bright but about the second year of my schooling I discovered the joy of girls and so things I didn’t do as well at school as I could have done. One of the things that I really love was PE at school, on a Friday afternoon because the top set of boys got to do it with the bottom set boys and I really loved the crack and the banter and the way that they were able to tease the set 1 boys was just wonderful.

01:29 My PhD was in music, and it was in the branch of the aesthetics of music and in particular it was in the meanings of music. What always attracted me about it about the role was one just a sheer love of the subject matter of music and in my particular areas the aesthetics and the meanings of music, I just thought that was brilliant.

01:51 I remember doing my A level music and thinking, wow this is just fantastic, as that went along I really loved the teaching side of things and I remember saying to one of my lecturers I want to do what you do and that for me there have been a number of, of points like that throughout my life.

02:15 The money had run out of my funding of my PhD so I needed to get a job basically to pay the bills, I ended up getting a job for a housing support charity in Slough and I really loved the experience of that and what I’ve learnt about myself is that when I have a balance between as I call it the concrete and it doesn’t get much more concrete than a housing support charity in Slough and the abstract for example a PhD in the meaning of music, when I get that balance right I feel that my life is a privilege.

02:55 I realised that the balance was right pretty soon into it, I didn’t know when I started the PhD I often wondered whether I was an introvert with very strong extravert tendencies or an extravert with very strong introvert tendencies and, subsequent sort of personality tests have shown that actually I’m an extravert.

03:15 What I do know was that I was the most educated person in the office which brought with it its own joys. The guys liked to rib me about it, when I got my PhD people called me Dr Lane only ironically, it was like oh Dr Lane you should have realised this.

03:37 I mean you could say for example that taking the joining working for a housing support charity in Slough is a wrong turning for the job that I wanted to do now, I would like to think that it has given me the interpersonal skills needed to make me a better person doing the job that I am now.


Matt L is the Postgraduate Transferable Skills Officer for the University of Cambridge. He says, "Basically I help and facilitate PhD students and generally postgraduate researchers with their transferable skills".

More information about Vocational and industrial trainers and instructors

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average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

48%  male  52%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

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Vocational and industrial trainers provide instruction in manual, manipulative and other vocational skills and advise on, plan and organise vocational instruction within industrial, commercial and other establishments.


No formal educational qualifications are required for entry, although most entrants have qualified in some other area of work and will require a Certificate in Training Practice. Professional qualifications are available from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. NVQs/SVQs in Training and Development are available at Levels 3, 4 and 5.


  • Assesses training requirements and prepares lectures, demonstrations and study aids;
  • Supervises trainee development, assists trainees with difficulties and prepares regular progress reports on each trainee for management;
  • Arranges work experience and instructional visits for trainees;
  • Plans curriculum and rota of staff duties and updates or amends them in light of developments;
  • Advises on training programmes and discusses progress or problems with staff and trainees;
  • Devises general and specialised training courses in response to particular needs.
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