Over the last few months this column has highlighted the importance of our sector supporting the wider society. There are many challenges and opportunities, driven by technology and the sustainability agenda, that we face but few outside of our industry recognise the contribution that our sector can make. Through our engagement with stakeholders across a range of sectors, there is often a preconceived idea of our industry and profession, which frequently is at odds with reality.
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 President of the Institute of Quarrying (IQ), I am in a privileged position following in the footsteps of my predecessors in this role, all of whom have helped build the Institute into the organisation it is today. Whilst the time within the role is relatively short, we have all aspired to ensure the long-term goals of the Institute are progressed.
My recent columns have focused on the challenges our industry faces in managing health and safety. In dealing with these challenges, leadership is a recurring theme that affects the whole organisation - from the board room to individual operational sites.
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.
Like many, when the time came, I opted to take the traditional path into higher education, studying for my degree at the University of Hertfordshire and my PhD at the University of Bath, the latter supported by Aggregate Industries. But, given my time again, I’ve often thought that the apprenticeship pathway might have suited me better.