Two careers days organised by the Geological Society and supported by the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) will provide Geoscience and Earth Science students with the opportunity to unearth the the latest career options and talk to industry leaders about how to enter the sector.The Geological Society Careers & Industry Days take place at the British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham on 9 November 2016 and at Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh on 23 November. The programmes include short career presentations covering different areas of geology and academia and are supported by an exhibition of industry and professional bodies.
Mike Phillips, General Manager, IQ, says: “These events are the perfect opportunity for students of geo and earth sciences to uncover the great career opportunities that exist in the mineral extractives industry - from in-field or lab-based roles to office roles that could take you all over the world.
"As a champion of the professionals that work in the extractives industries, IQ is attending to reinforce the message that learning is lifelong. There are many great employers - large and small - in the sector that are committed to the continuous professional development of people at all levels, from quarry operatives to site managers and everything in between.”
Dale Cooper, 24, from North Lanarkshire is from a family of quarry workers. When he left school in 2007 and no openings in quarrying were available, he landed a job in engineering. Subsequently, when a position opened at Levenseat Sand Quarry Dale jumped at the opportunity. He now works as a Process Operator in the wash plant at the quarry, operated by Aggregate Industries.
One year into the position, Dale enrolled on a Foundation Degree in International Mineral Extractives Technology at the University of Derby, developed in partnership with the Institute of Quarrying (IQ).
Sarah Fry, Communications Manager, IQ, says: “The IQ is all about encouraging individuals to embark on a lifelong learning journey through continuous professional development. Dale is a great example of someone who is returning to education to improve his career options.
“The IQ partnered with the University of Derby and industry experts to develop a higher education course that helps aspiring managers to gain the knowledge they need to move forward in their career. The course also meets the academic requirements for membership of the IQ and provides the fundamental knowledge for Safety, Health and Environment management in the extractives and mineral processing industries.
“Dale’s obvious passion for quarrying and his drive and ambition have been recognised by his employer Aggregate Industries and he’s now got a very bright future ahead of him.”
Speaking about his career opportunities, Dale said: “The course is great because it teaches you about the challenges faced in the industry and an understanding of what management and site operatives have to do to keep a steady production going and keeping everyone safe, which is our number one priority.
“If anyone is thinking about whether the quarrying industry is right for them I say go for it. There is so much to learn and there are good training programmes and courses on offer. Companies know they benefit by supporting you through the training but you also benefit as a person and you will find that the industry will open many doors for you.”
Dale’s employer Aggregate Industries quarry, manufacture and supply a wide range of heavy building materials to the construction industry. Its Levenseat Sand Quarry is one of three specialist silica sand sites in the UK. Levenseat produces high quality grit, building, concrete and medium construction sands, as well as products to suit sports and leisure facilities, such as golf courses, football pitches and equestrian centres.