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PRIME launches at Hillhead 2014

Martin Riley

Official launch of Professional Recognition in Mineral Extraction represents key turning point in the industry

Tuesday 24 June 2014 saw the official launch of PRIME (Professional Recognition In Mineral Extraction) taking place at Hillhead 2014. The presentation was opened by Cedric Hollinsworth, PRIME project manager, who underlined the driving force behind the project's creation in providing recognition to those in the workforce who undertook highly technical and skilled jobs but were not provided with the acknowledgement they deserved, in addition to addressing the issues with the aging workforce in the sector whose experience would be lost in years to come.

The MPA-sponsored PRIME project, which has been partly funded by a grant from UKCES, has received universal support from all sub sectors in the industry and is being delivered by the Institute of Quarrying and MPQC, supported by a steering group representing producers, contractors, suppliers, and trade associations.

The launch speakers represented this broad spectrum: Nigel Jackson, CEO, MPA; Martin Riley, managing director, Aggregates and Asphalt, Lafarge Tarmac (pictured); Jason Howlett, director Equipment Solutions, Finning UK and Ireland; Ben Williams, managing director, EPC Group UK; and Roy Bush, HM Inspector, HSE.

All emphasized the need for the project, with its intention of providing recognition to the unsung heroes within the sector whilst also providing a continuous career path accessible to all, enabling individuals  to progress  with a plethora of doors and opportunities available to them.

PRIME is the most significant initiative in the industry for many years and the first time that producers, contractors and suppliers have come together to recognize the importance of the contribution made by operators, foremen and supervisors in the performance of the business, by creating a truly professional and recognized workforce.

The project represents a key turning point in bringing about a cultural change with more worker engagement, involvement, recognition and the retention of experienced highly trained individuals, linked with a longer-term goal of improving the external image of the sector, making it more attractive to future recruits.

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