Institute of Quarrying PRIME initiative


Mike Philips is on a mission of prime importance in his role as General Manager of the Institute of Quarrying (IQ). In his words: “There has never been a more important year for the quarrying sector, construction is starting to boom and mergers and acquisitions are continuing to change the face of the industry” but for Mike, what is on his mind is PRIME.

After two years in development, PRIME is a new initiative that is set to transform quarrying. Launching at Hillhead 2014 PRIME will support the industry and the people that work in it by professionalising the sector and making it more attractive to both new and existing talent.

Speaking to an audience of 200 key industry professionals at the first IQ CPD accredited Finning Equipment Management Seminar in Malaga; Mike explained why PRIME is so important.

“There are many people that are worried about the quarrying sector and rightly so. We have an ageing demographic of highly skilled individuals with an average age of around 55, whose knowledge will be lost if we don’t face up to the challenge of attracting new talent to the sector, while retaining the wise old dogs.

“On top of this we have a booming construction industry and our sector has to compete for funding on a global scale. With our people being our key asset and the one that is highly desired the world over, the whole industry has to work together to secure a sustainable future.

“This is what PRIME is all about. Although conceived by the IQ and MPQC (Mineral Products Qualifications Council) under the banner of the MPA (Mineral Products Association) its success depends on a cross-industry collaborative approach. I want PRIME to be the catalyst that opens up the doors to the sector and assists in providing a continuous career progression pathway. By doing this we will be able to truly embrace workforce involvement and the development of individuals across the board.

“One of the first steps to professionalising the sector has been for us to create the Technical Membership or ‘TMIQ’, a new grade of membership launched on the 1st January 2014. It fits between the current Associate and Member grades, enabling a number of individuals currently falling into the existing Associate category to enhance their membership level, entitling them to use the designation ‘TMIQ’. So you will now see senior operatives, foremen and supervisors being awarded this new grade, providing greater recognition for the existing talent and experience we have in the industry.

“In turn this will allow us to attract new generations into the sector, while retaining and developing those within it. TMIQ status will ensure an individual is viewed as being both highly competent and world class. This is just one element of PRIME that will help support the aspirations and achievements of new and existing quarrying professionals, delivering a motivated and committed workforce.

“I am truly passionate and excited about PRIME and want as many people to embrace it as possible. We all have a role to play in making this industry a recognised profession and a great place to work, so please take time to find out more about PRIME.”