The Skills Wheel is designed to help individuals and operators make informed decisions about investing in relevant industry-specific and vocational skills development. The ambition is to deliver better skilled employees working in the minerals, quarrying and extractives industries, as well as encouraging operators to achieve sector recognition for the highest operational standards.
Phil James, Chief Executive of IQ says: “We recognise that people working in today’s modern site operations need a range of expertise in order to be effective beyond the basics of the job itself. We also know that those businesses that continually develop their staff have a more motivated and valued workforce that will deliver better operational performance.
“As the international professional body for quarrying, construction materials and related extractive and processing industries, we want to make identifying opportunities for potential skills and professional development as straightforward as possible. We’ve identified four broad development headings for our customers, which should help signpost them to relevant courses and programmes.”
Spokes of the Skills Wheel
Knowledge & Innovation drives the quarrying and mineral extractive industries to assist the continual improvement, productivity, efficiency and health and safety to benefit all staff, as well as company performance. This area of the IQ Skills Wheel focuses on all areas of site operational issues, as well as general management advice.
Standards and Professionalism are a key part of the IQ Skills Wheel as it addresses the key regulations and standards that affect the quarrying and mineral extractives industries. Everyone working within the industry should be aware of the legislation and key documents that underpin best practices adopted in the workplace.
Engagement, Influence & Impact is about being more aware of how to interact as a team member in a wider context helps you to become a more rounded professional. The engagement, influence and impact area of the IQ Skills Wheel considers how quarrying and mineral extractives professionals work within teams and the wider community and networks.
Personal Effectiveness is what successful professionals within the quarrying and mineral extractives industries are aware of their own personal attributes and how to develop their skills in different areas. Learning how to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and being able to use them in the most effective way is an important part of growing personally and professionally.
“Continuous professional development is not as a ‘nice to have’ but an essential investment for future success.”
Phil James, Chief Executive, IQ
Skills Wheel in Action
Ben Strickland is an Assistant Quarry Manager at Shap Quarry near Penrith for Hanson Aggregates. Ben’s career path started with an HND in Construction Management at The University of Salford. He joined Hanson Aggregates’ higher apprenticeship/trainee management programme straight from university.
“Initially I started working at Pateley Bridge in North Yorkshire as a trainee supervisor in the operations and processing side of the business. After about 18 months I had the opportunity to do a secondment for six months at Penmaenmawr in North Wales.
“Other short-term placements have broadened my experience and knowledge of quarrying, particularly in the fundamentals of static and mobile processing. My apprenticeship finished in 2014 and I have now progressed to Assistant Quarry Manager at Shap Quarry near Penrith.
“The in-work and out of work training I’ve undertaken has been invaluable. I’ve become really interested in the commercial aspect of the business, in particular the positive effect that a process of continuous improvement has on the operations. And most importantly, what I’ve learnt has been directly relevant to my job.
“What I have found is that this is an industry where you work closely with your colleagues, supporting each other and providing ongoing feedback. You get a real buzz from seeing the difference you can make to the business. Your ideas are listened to, acted upon and you get to see the important contribution you can make.”