Industry News

Thinking about tomorrow – today

I’ve been extremely pleased to see our national office team continue to promote the IQA and the quarrying industry to the next generation. Recent school visits in Queensland have highlighted the interest in our industry from students and the variety of career options available.

Our launch into social media over the past few years and a dedicated resource to post and use social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook mean we are more connected with the youth of today.

They are seeing the many benefits of the industry to not only their own futures but also to the broader community.

We have a challenge – which, to be honest, has always been there – to excite school students and school leavers about choosing a career in our industry. With the introduction of the Australasian Academy of Quarrying and our use of social media, the challenge is to not only connect with the pool of future quarrying professionals, but also to attract their interest and engage with them, so quarrying is a profession they want and choose to pursue.

No doubt, the traditional career options and jobs offered will not be the same in the future.

{{quote-A:R-W:300-Q:"The next generation needs to be supported and opportunities need to be provided by our industry."}}The change in technology over the past decade, if that is any measure to go by, will see jobs created that we are unaware of now. Last year I participated in an exhibition where my skills and experience were used to predict a job I would have in the future in the aggregates and construction industry.

Needless to say, I was surprised that my future self would be in an operations role that involved no on-site contact and comprised data analytics and virtual communication means. However, this by no means felt unrealistic, given the (what feels like) constant technology advances we experience today. Drones, 3D printing and autonomous trucks are examples of technologies that are already with us, so the future is an exciting one!

To prepare for this, however, the next generation needs to be supported and opportunities need to be provided by our industry. Otherwise, we run the real risk of losing potential quarrying professionals to other industries that offer more opportunities and exciting roles that suit the skills of this generation.

The IQA has been working with a number of companies to identify opportunities for students to take up traineeships and graduate roles, to support our efforts engaging with schools and universities. I would encourage anyone with the capacity to take on someone in one of these roles – even for work experience – to contact our CEO Paul Sutton so we can connect business with the next generation of employees. I also congratulate those businesses that have been offering their quarries to the IQA to facilitate school group tours, again increasing the exposure of our industry to these potential future employees.

As I’ve mentioned, unless we provide a pathway for these future quarrying professionals, we’ll be at risk of losing talent to other industries, which will ultimately make attracting new workers to our industry even harder. The future needs our attention today, so I encourage you all to think about tomorrow – today.

Have a safe and productive month!

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