It is hard to believe that a year has passed since the IQ Fellows Lunch and Student Awards at the Tower of London. It was a great environment to celebrate the successes of students from the University of Derby Centre for Mineral Products. I look forward to returning this November to celebrate another year of academic achievements.
As we move into the second half of 2019, we as an Institute are focusing on the third pillar of the Strategy launched at last year Fellows lunch. Our ambition to drive innovation and operational best practice seeks to meet the immediate needs of the industry and to understand and prepare our members for the demands of the future.
The start of a new year is traditionally a time for looking forward. A time filled with hope, excitement and positivity. A time when we look for new possibilities and fresh opportunities. This year, as we look forward at what these might mean for our industry, I would like us to reaffirm our primary desire that we as individuals and all of our colleagues are able to arrive home at the end of every shift safely.
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.
Like all industries, mineral extractives and quarrying is in a state of perpetual motion when it comes to embracing and adopting new technologies and future-looking operating practices.
We are all bombarded every day by new technology and new working practices. Without acknowledging it, each of us engages in daily personal development that enables us to keep our heads above the flood waters of modern-day life. That ever-increasing speed of change also interfaces with our work lives, whether we like it or not. It is the role of a professional body such as IQ to help us to be better-equipped employers and employees.
Rightly consigned to history are the days of accepted poor practice and safety at work in our sector. Today, the UK minerals extractives industry is the global benchmark for operational standards of safety, delivered through a commitment to, and investment in, better operational practices, as well as improved standards of education, training, skills and leadership.