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.
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.
Breaking down barriers is vital if we are going to safeguard the future of the mineral extractives sector. But it appears we have a long way to go, despite our best intent.
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.