Partnership focuses on developing highly skilled workforce for future of mineral products sector
A MAJOR new partnership focused on inspiring and preparing young people to become the workforce of the future for the mineral products sector has been established between Minerals Matter – the industry’s future skills’ arm – and The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC), the national body for careers education in England.
The two organizations will bring together schools, colleges, and key industry bodies, increasing awareness of the varied careers available and educational pathways open to young people into the mineral products sector.
The partnership is looking to recruit enterprise advisers and cornerstone employers across England in key areas of strategic importance to the quarrying and mineral products industry.
Enterprise advisers are business volunteers who work with schools, colleges, and their leadership teams, to help develop high-quality careers programmes. Cornerstone employers are businesses and employers that have made an institutional level commitment to improving local careers education.
Enterprise advisors and cornerstone employers will be matched with their local careers’ hub, which brings together local businesses, schools, colleges, training/apprenticeship providers, and local partners, to drive improvements in careers education in the region.
Cornerstone employers will also promote the partnership via community engagement and their own recruitment activities. Businesses already signed up to the partnership approach include Sibelco, CEMEX, Hanson, Tarmac, and Wainwrights.
The Minerals Matter and CEC partnership will also benefit from the £6.5 million redevelopment of the National Stone Centre (NSC) near Wirksworth, Derbyshire, where a brand-new centre of excellence will be built to inspire the future talent the quarrying and mineral products industry needs to remain competitive and innovative. Currently, the NSC and Somerset Earth Science Centres are the first two Minerals Matter hubs to support the industry pilot.
Emily Noble, future careers manager at Minerals Matter, said: ‘This is vital work, as we seek to address the succession, skill gaps and global challenges the industry faces over the next decade. The next generation of the workforce will have a critical role to play in the future success of the industry and it is, therefore, essential we take collective responsibility for attracting new people and working with strategic partners like CEC to ensure a structured approach to delivery.’
Erica Chamberlain, CEC head of strategic business partnerships, added: ‘Building links between business and education is vital to improving careers education. By bringing these two worlds together young people get a better insight into the world of work, the rich opportunities available in this sector and pathways open to them. And teachers are given the opportunity to enrich their curriculum through careers, helping young people understand the real-world application of their learning and to better guide them about their future options.’