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President's Blog

Better together

IQ President's Blog March 2024

It seems that with every year time seems to pass even quicker. I cannot quite believe this month’s column reflects the onset of spring and the end of our first quarter of trading for 2024 already.

As President, it has undoubtedly marked an extremely busy period for me and the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) as we progress our plans and activities on all fronts. You will know from my previous thoughts in this column, I firmly believe that much of our ambition for the minerals sector will be achieved not in isolation or competition, but in partnership and collaboration.

In recent weeks, it has become evident that numerous plans are advancing with our colleagues throughout the industry. Welcoming and collaborating with the Heavy Clay Technology Association (HCTa) and the Clay Quarries Competence Group (CQCG) has been particularly gratifying. These fresh partnerships signify another stride in the Institute’s efforts to support our sector by providing competence and ongoing professional development to individuals working under quarry regulations. As we approach the launch event scheduled for the beginning of this month, it is pleasing to share our plans and how they can benefit all members through shared knowledge and expertise.

The health, safety, and well-being agenda has been a core area of activity with February seeing the first meeting for the next evolution of the Minerals Strategic Safety Forum. The collaboration between the Mineral Products Association (MPA), British Aggregates Association (BAA), Quarry National Joint Advisory Committee (QNJAC), Mineral Products Association (MPQC), and IQ demonstrates its value and the commitment all stakeholders have in working towards a safer sector. The recognition of our respective skills and responsibilities in collaborating in such a vital area is an indication of our maturity as a sector. As ever, none of us at either the corporate or individual level should be complacent.

Whilst the examples above demonstrate that strong collaborations continue to lead the way, there is always room for improvement when it comes to ensuring we are truly inclusive in providing everyone equal opportunities in shaping our industry.

Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to interact with numerous individuals in our industry. Time and again, I am reminded that leadership transcends job titles and is frequently defined by passion and determination, regardless of position.

Katherine Evans has been raising the need for us all to take the issues of the health, safety, and well-being of our female colleagues more seriously with her ‘Bold as Brass’ campaign.

Katherine has shown great leadership in raising these issues. It reminds us that, in 2024, there is still so much to do in terms of equality, diversity, and inclusion within the sector. If we want to meet the challenges and opportunities of the coming years, we need to be working collaboratively. If we want to genuinely work collaboratively, we need to hear all the voices from across our sector and that way we will truly be better together.

On a personal note, this month marks my 40th anniversary as a member of IQ, coinciding with passing my Professional Exam. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have enjoyed a career in an industry that has allowed me to connect with remarkable individuals and work across the globe. None of this would have been possible without the guidance and mentorship of certain key individuals who generously lent their support throughout my professional journey. Many of these invaluable connections were forged through my association with IQ, and I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each of them for their advice and friendship over the past four decades.

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