The industry’s leading event, Hillhead, has just experienced its successful transition to an alternative, digital format. Hillhead Digital was a reminder of the restrictions we have been under for the last year but also the spirit of ingenuity to adapt to the situation that we have all faced. As restrictions continue to ease, we look forward to being able to return to the live Hillhead event next June.
The Institute of Quarrying (IQ) has a long and proud history of professional development for its members, through education, training, and the sharing of best practices. From our establishment in 1917, our core purpose has been to develop competent and capable professionals and support individuals throughout their career.
At the time of writing, we are at the point in the year where we are beginning to see the signs of spring with warmer and brighter weather on its way. It also marks the one-year anniversary since the full impact of the pandemic first hit us all. Whilst there is still some way to go, for most of us there is now a sense of real hope for a pathway out of the pandemic.
We are approaching the end of the first quarter of the year and there is genuine hope that we are seeing the beginning of the pathway out of the pandemic. Vaccine programmes begin to roll out across the globe and there is greater confidence of being able to manage COVID-19 in the short and long term. There is still a long way to go before we can be sure of some return to normal and undoubtedly the situation has changed how we will work in the future.
The early months of 2021 have brought a sense of déjà vu as many parts of the world remain focused on the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a stark reminder for us all that no matter how well prepared we believe we are, there will be issues to challenge our thinking and approach as to how we operate.
The start of a new year provides the opportunity for us all to look forward and refocus our efforts for the coming months both personally and professionally. Over the festive period many of us will have had the chance to reflect and evaluate what is important to us, setting new goals and ambitions to support our own personal growth, mental health and general wellbeing.
As is tradition at this time of year, December is the chance to reflect on the past year and to look toward what the coming year may bring. Whilst my predecessors would have talked of uncertainty, challenges and opportunities, I don’t think any of us would have predicted the 2020 we have all experienced.
Undoubtedly, 2020 will be a year that we all remember as we address the challenges presented by the pandemic. It continues to have an impact on our health, wellbeing and economy.
It gives me great pleasure to be writing my first Presidents column for our magazine as our industry is one I am incredibly proud of. As members of the Institute, our industry and our profession are critical in supporting our country, our economy and our communities.