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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Geoscience Careers & Industry Days

Dale Cooper

Geological Society and Institute of Quarrying highlight rock solid career opportunities

TWO careers days organized by the Geological Society and supported by the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) will provide geoscience and earth science students with the opportunity to unearth the latest career options and talk to industry leaders about how to enter the sector.

The Geological Society Careers & Industry Days will take place at the British Geological Survey, in Keyworth, near Nottingham, on 9 November 2016, and at Our Dynamic Earth, in Edinburgh, on 23 November. The programmes include short career presentations covering different areas of geology and academia, and are supported by an exhibition of industry and professional bodies.

IQ general manager Mike Phillips said: ‘These events are the perfect opportunity for students of geoscience and earth sciences to uncover the great career opportunities that exist in the mineral extractives industry – from in-the-field or lab-based roles to office roles that could take you all over the world.

‘As a champion of the professionals that work in the extractives industries, IQ is attempting to reinforce the message that learning is lifelong. There are many great employers – large and small – in the sector who are committed to the continuous professional development of people at all levels, from quarry operatives to site managers and everything in between.’

Twenty-four-year-old Dale Cooper, from North Lanarkshire, is from a family of quarry workers. When he left school in 2007 and no openings in quarrying were available, he landed a job in engineering. Subsequently, when a position became available at Aggregate Industries’ Levenseat Sand Quarry, he jumped at the opportunity and now works as a process operator in the quarry’s wash plant.

One year into the position Mr Cooper enrolled on a Foundation Degree in International Mineral Extractives Technology at the University of Derby, developed in partnership with the Institute of Quarrying.

IQ communications manager Sarah Fry said: ‘The Institute is all about encouraging individuals to embark on a lifelong learning journey through continuous professional development. Dale is a great example of someone who is returning to education to improve his career options.

‘The IQ partnered with the University of Derby and industry experts to develop a higher education course that helps aspiring managers to gain the knowledge they need to move forward in their career. The course also meets the academic requirements for membership of the IQ and provides the fundamental knowledge for safety, health and environment management in the extractives and mineral processing industries.

‘Dale’s obvious passion for quarrying and his drive and ambition have been recognized by his employer, Aggregate Industries, and he’s now got a very bright future ahead of him.’

Commenting on his career opportunities, Mr Cooper said: ‘The course is great because it teaches you about the challenges faced in the industry and provides an understanding of what management and site operatives have to do to keep steady production going and keep everyone safe, which is our number one priority.

‘If anyone is thinking about whether the quarrying industry is right for them, I’d say go for it. There is so much to learn and there are good training programmes and courses on offer. Companies know they will benefit by supporting you through the training, but you also benefit as a person and will find that the industry opens many doors for you.’

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