This last month I have continued to meet with many different colleagues and friends across the sector, listening to their stories, understanding the challenges faced and how we can continue to support them here at the Institute of Quarrying (IQ).
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Hartham Park Underground Quarry and was given a tour around the site by Simon Hart of Lovell Stone and Nina Roberts, custodian of the Bath Stone collection. The visit was fascinating and demonstrated the range of skills and expertise held within our sector. I am grateful to Simon and Nina for taking the time to explain the current operational activities, along with the history of the site.
The industry’s collective determination at the beginning of this century to work together in tackling the health and safety agenda highlights that we need to apply the same approach in meeting the climate and sustainability challenge moving forward.
I was pleased to recently chair a roundtable session on decarbonisation between the industry and local government representatives at Tunstead in Buxton. The discussions showed commitment on all sides in tackling the issues with a common agreement that solutions come from working collaboratively. As the initiative develops, we will be reaching out to other organisations and individuals to engage in further discussions.
I have also been on the road in my Quarries National Joint Advisory Committee (QNJAC) capacity to support IQ’s Health and Safety CPD Days. These are annual events that are highly anticipated by members and others for the critical updates they provide. New guidance has been developed by QNJAC from the different working groups, including the Geotechnical and Pedestrian, and Workplace Transport self-audit tools. I was able to showcase the revised formats of the guidance and provide a preview of the refreshed QNJAC website.
The Health and Safety CPD Days are also an opportunity for the IQ to demonstrate how it supports members in their professional development, with presentations focusing on the new personal development wheel tool. IQ views continuing professional development (CPD) as a vital part of lifelong learning which is why it’s an important part of being a member. Actively recording and managing CPD helps individuals plan their future career goals.
Minerals Matter is another piece of the jigsaw in place. Launched at the IQ Fellows Lunch, the coordinated mineral product sector approach aims to promote, engage and encourage new people into our sector. The project promotes the passion for our sector and the career opportunities it can provide. As we progress, I encourage as many of you to get involved as possible.
We are entering the season when many of our branches come together for their annual dinner dances, which provide a great opportunity for us to reunite and take time out from our hectic schedules. I am looking forward to attending as many of these events in the next couple of years to share time with committees and members.