This is the final column from me as the President of the Institute of Quarrying (IQ). During September I will be stepping down from the Board after nearly 20 years of active engagement with the Institute. It is a mixed-emotion experience as, on the one hand, after such a long period of participation it is sad to leave behind such a great organization. But, on the other hand, my colleagues and I have worked hard on the organizational governance to ensure there is an inflow of new enthusiasm and talent to maintain a freshness to the professional body, which is essential to its continuing relevance. I look on this latter point with a sense of pride that I was able to make a small, but lasting, contribution to the future of IQ.
Just over a year ago we celebrated the Centenary of the IQ with the quarry garden at Chatsworth and July 2018 has seen another milestone for the Institute. Our colleagues in New Zealand are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year and I had the pleasure of attending their conference in Hamilton at the end of July to mark the occasion.
Leadership is critical to ensuring organisations are not only profitable, but also operate in a manner that is responsible and that enables our people go home safely at the end of each day.
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.