Once again we have reached that point in our calendar where all attention turns to Hillhead. In the summer the Peaks are beautiful, but seasoned Hillhead visitors will know you can expect anything from snow to gales to glorious sunshine.
We all know that health, safety and well-being are the top priority for our industry and those working within it. What we know also is that 2017 represented the worst year for fatalities in five years.
The term ‘Continuing Professional Development’, or acronym CPD, strikes fear into some and disdain in others. It can create an image of something that is time consuming and a burden. However, I believe that is because there are many common misconceptions around the core purpose of CPD, even what constitutes CPD.
Much has been written around the merits and challenges of apprenticeships, both nationally and within our own sector. Whilst there are many discussions at the national level around aspects such as the impact of the Apprenticeship Levy, it is important not to lose sight of the core purpose and value of apprenticeships.
The mineral extraction industry is a significant part of the UK economy. What we do shapes the way of life we all know and enjoy. Minerals are essential, representing the largest material flow in the economy, but the omnipresent availability of important minerals should not be taken for granted.
Happy New Year. How time flies when you’re enjoying yourself! It is hard to believe that this time a year ago we launched our centenary celebrations. Here we are 12 months later looking back on a year that I believe will be remembered not only for the success of the IQ Quarry Garden, or its repurposing at the National Memorial Arboretum, but for the vision and ambition of all those at IQ and across the wider industry.
For all those who joined us at this year’s Centenary Conference at The Belfry, it was an extra-special occasion marking 100 years of the Institute of Quarrying. Conference itself provided much food for thought about the softer issues affecting our industry – from men’s health to sustainability. Later in the day, our Centenary Dinner delivered a fantastic evening of achievement awards, inspirational guest speakers, fine dining and great company.
Responsibility is a word that gets used a lot in our industry; corporate social responsibility, environmental responsibility; personal responsibility. Our responsibility is that what we do as a sector impacts upon our economy, our society, the environment and the lives of countless individuals across the UK, Europe and beyond.
Our ‘Inspiring for Generations’ centenary conference takes place in the relaxing surroundings of The Belfry Hotel and Spa Resort in Sutton Coldfield on 19 October 2017. It’s a far cry from the humble surroundings of the first meeting that took place 100 years ago in Caernarfon and reflects how far both the Institute and the mineral extractives sector have travelled.
We are living in changing times. When the country voted to leave the European Union, as a nation and an industry we entered into a period of uncertainty, both in terms of our economy and where the UK sits in the broader European landscape.