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.
Apprenticeship programmes are an increasingly popular pathway into the world of work, with many apprentices going on to enjoy successful careers at the highest levels. The quarrying sector is no different, with operators large and small welcoming the flexible approach to personal and professional development both in the workplace and classroom.
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.
Over the years, the annual Institute of Quarrying (IQ) Student Awards have recognised the exceptional achievements of countless individuals committed to improving their knowledge at the University of Derby’s Centre for Mineral Products Professional Development. But the awards are just part of the story. So where are some of these award winners now?
The Institute of Quarrying (IQ), along with several respected industry professionals and organisations, has taken a key role in leading a major 18-month project to update the overarching course curriculum at the University of Derby Centre for Minerals Products.
Last month Martin Riley, senior vice-president of Tarmac, became new President of the Institute of Quarrying (IQ), succeeding his predecessor Phil Redmond. In a recent Zoom interview with QM, he spoke about a global vision for IQ, the key priorities for the professional body and the challenges facing the minerals extractives sector in the post-pandemic world.
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.
An ageing workforce is an ongoing challenge for the mineral extractives industry, with the average worker in the sector aged 55 . So, how is the sector developing the next generation of young talent and creating future leaders?
Almost 10 million people in employment in the UK are over the age of 50, equivalent to more than 30% of the workforce1. The age profile of people employed in the mineral extractives sector is even more polarised than the wider national picture, with 55 per cent aged over 45 years and only 17 per cent aged 18-342. In future decades, a high proportion of this group will leave work permanently, taking acquired skills and experiences with them.
Like any industry, successful professionals within the quarrying and mineral extractives sector are acutely aware of their own personal attributes and how to develop their skills in different areas to keep their career moving forward.