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GIF award for UK extractives sector

Growth and Innovation Fund grants award to develop system of CPD for all personnel in the industry

A MINERAL Products Association-led consortium of industry organizations, comprising MPQC and the Institute of Quarrying (IQ), has been successfully awarded a grant from the Growth and Innovation Fund (GIF), which is administered by the United Kingdom Commission for Education and Skills (UKCES).

The award, which has the support of larger companies and SMEs in the UK extractives sector, as well as a number of other key industry organizations, including QNJAC, is aimed at developing and rolling out a system of CPD to all levels of personnel employed in the industry.

It will focus initially on key supervisory and specialist operative roles, offering professional recognition for these groups (whether employees or contractors) by creating a new membership grade in the IQ.

The employer-led project is focused on increasing the status and competence of the workforce, which in turn will aid recruitment and retention, and ultimately improve company performance, productivity and profitability. At the same time, it will also help raise the profile and improve the public image of the sector.

Commencing in January 2013, the two-year project will be directed and managed from the new Chilwell office of the IQ and MPQC, with both organizations playing an active supporting role in its delivery.

Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the Mineral Products Association, said: ‘This is great news for the industry and will help accelerate the current momentum to achieve a fully competent workforce and ‘Target Zero’.’

Phil James, executive director of IQ/MPQC, commented: ‘This is a very exciting opportunity, not only for our organizations, but the entire sector. We all know the important contribution made by all our operatives and it is right to give those roles a professional status.’

After the two-year pilot within the quarrying sector the proposals will be rolled out across the entire extractives and mineral products sector footprint.

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