Connecting further learning with industry members, personnel

It’s almost the end of another financial year and many businesses will already be looking forward to the next one, setting budgets and forecasts based on strategic goals and expected performance.

Budget allocations for training and professional development are different across the industry due to a number of factors, including companies’ views of training, internal resources and access to quality training products, and employees’ willingness to participate, to name a few.

While in tougher economic times, training budgets often are the first to be reviewed as a company looks to reduce its operating costs, this is not an approach taken by all.

In my opinion, to cut a training budget is a very reactionary and narrow view of the positive impact professional development can have on an employee and indeed their employer.

The IQA has been focused on delivering training to meet industry needs that is of high quality and accessible to all across the sector.

{{quote-A:R-W:300-Q:"The AAQ will be the single point of contact and source of professional development for our members."}}With affordability being a key concern, the IQA always seeks to deliver training to the industry and its members at a price point that covers the cost of the training but allows price to be no barrier to attendance.

Interestingly, our members’ feedback relates more to the difficulty of workers being able to have time away from the site or the business, rather than the course being too expensive.

Being at the forefront of the industry (including through member feedback) and identifying needs is something the IQA prides itself on. The recently announced changes by the Queensland Government to mandatory competency requirements for statutory positions at mines and quarries is a direct example of this.

The IQA has been working to ensure the training modules and qualifications required to satisfy the competencies for site senior executive roles in Queensland are available and ready to be delivered, to allow our members to comply with their legislative obligations.

In addition to meeting the minimum requirements, these courses and qualifications should also be seen as a refresher for our more experienced industry participants and an opportunity to refine their already developed professional skills.

Changes to the competency requirements, while on the cards for some time, should be seen as a positive move by the regulator and the industry to increase safety standards and improve overall performance across the sector.

To support these qualifications and competencies, the Australasian Academy of Quarrying (AAQ) will be the single point of contact and source of professional development for our members and the broader industry, and will assist in connecting courses with people.

It goes without saying that to continue to deliver the high quality of training the IQA does, we need to have access to experienced facilitators, which in recent times has been a challenge.

I would encourage people with industry experience and a passion for passing on this knowledge to others to get in touch with the IQA and the AAQ, and give back to the industry that enabled them to gain this experience.

Further requirements such as a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment may be required, but this may also be a professional development opportunity for any future facilitator.

Have a safe and productive month ahead!

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