As 2018 draws to a close, it’s clear it has been another eventful year for the industry and the Institute. As 2019 dawns, our sector and the country as a whole can expect some uncertainty. One thing we do know for certain is that mineral extractives will continue to be critical for the long-term sustainability of the country, underpinning the growth and prosperity of our economy.
For the Institute the focus will be on delivering against the ‘Creating Future Leaders’ strategy, launched at the Tower of London in October. We have set out the four key pillars for action, which together provide a coherent approach for developing our profession to meet the challenges of now and the future.
The Institute has long been at the forefront of setting standards, from establishing the professional exam through to the Honours degree at the University of Derby. We intend to build on those foundations and be the global leader in standards for the mineral extractives profession.
Supporting members to achieve those standards is key. Through the Skills Wheel, and our partnerships with others, the Institute will seek to establish a benchmark for competency that is recognized by all, whilst signposting individuals to the relevant training and support from all parts of the industry.
The world of work is changing. Over the next few years the skills and capabilities that individuals need in order to do their jobs will evolve. As an Institute, we will continue to support our members and those entering the industry to develop the skills needed to meet those changes.
Looking ahead: 2019
Next year you will see the Institute increase its work to promote the positive impact of the industry and the profession. In particular, we will showcase our members, sharing their experience and establishing a new set of industry awards to celebrate their achievements.
Health and Safety remains the absolute priority and we will tirelessly work with all other partners in supporting the industry to continue to create healthy, sustainable workplaces. In recent weeks you may have become aware of the Strategic Forum for Health and Safety in Mineral Products. The Strategic Forum has declared 2019 as the year to eliminate entrapment incidents. The Forum represents a partnership within the industry to tackle key issues on the Health and Safety agenda, and IQ is proud to play its part in supporting its work.
Rightly, there is also a growing recognition in relation to well-being and mental health. The Institute will support members through education, continuing professional development (CPD), and their career journeys to ensure these issues are met and understood where necessary.
Our ambition to drive innovation and operational best practice will support this agenda. It will also enable us to support research to move the industry forward. As IQ president, I know what a valuable resource members are, with a wealth of experience and knowledge, and we have a great network of branches to help support members and share that knowledge.
The Institute is an organization that is here to serve its members and as such attracting new members is critical to the future strength of the Institute. This strategy, combined with its underpinning activities, will support and grow our membership globally.
May I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019.