The new year is now well and truly underway and we have quickly become immersed in delivering this year’s organisational plans and focusing on day-to-day operations. It’s often all too easy for us to neglect our own personal development needs.
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.
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.
As we all settle back into work after the seasonal break, many of us will be re-evaluating our professional lives and setting new goals for the year ahead. What that looks like will vary widely, but I’m sure that we all set out with the best intentions.
Over the last quarter I have focussed on the importance of leadership and how the Institute is supporting those who are destined to be the next generation of leaders in the industry. I have also highlighted some of the work that the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) is undertaking to support all members in developing their skills and knowledge around leadership.
As members of the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) we focus heavily on the need for competence, both for ourselves and our colleagues. It is a core principle in supporting our efforts to improve in priority areas such as health, safety and well-being. As professionals we should all know our responsibilities from the regulatory perspective and it is critical that we all continue to meet those obligations.
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.
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.
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.