A party of 20 children from Loughries Integrated Primary School outside Newtownards in County Down made a return visit recently to Breedon’s Ballystockart Quarry where they enjoyed an informative and instructive tour, hosted by Quarry Manager Pat O’Connor.
The quarrying and mineral products industry offers so much potential, with many individuals starting off at entry level and progressing up the career ladder to responsible roles managing people and processes; up to and including senior management and executive roles.
It has been over two years since the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) held its last prestigious Fellows Lunch and Student Awards in-person event. That’s two years since senior industry figures were able to get together and network face-to-face and two years since high-achieving students from the University of Derby Centre for Mineral Products received public praise for their outstanding achievements.
Studies show that people remember only 20% of what they read but 80% of what they see. The Institute of Quarrying (IQ) has now introduced new reporting tools for members to quickly analyse their continuing professional development (CPD) activities.
Last year the Institute of Quarrying launched its ‘Creating Future Leaders’ strategy at the Fellows Lunch. The strategy set out the vision and role of IQ in the mineral products industry.
This will be a year that few of us will ever forget. So much of what we have known has gone out of the window, not just at work but in our social and personal lives too. We have had to find new ways of being engaged and connected with ourselves and others.
Operators across the mineral products and quarrying sector share many recruitment challenges. These include replacing an ageing workforce, skills retention, and presenting the sector as an attractive choice for today’s school, college and university leavers.
The UK mineral extractives sector directly employs 74,000 people at over 2,000 active sites and plants, and supports an additional 3.5 million jobs throughout the supply chain1. Keeping our industry attuned to the latest thinking on safety, health and environmental knowledge is a major undertaking and a key priority for the Institute of Quarrying (IQ).