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From the organisers of

Looking for STEM Ambassadors to inspire futures

14 September 2017

Quarrying needs you...

Moves are being made by the aggregates and minerals side of quarrying to encourage more youngsters to embark on a career in primary extraction.

The average age of workers in the industry now is about 55, which means there is going to be an increasing shortage of labour in the years ahead if something is not done to encourage younger people into the industry.

The Minerals Products Qualification Council (MPQC), which works closely with the Institute of Quarrying, and the Council & Future Leaders Forum are supporting a new initiative called Inspiring Futures. This aims to provide a unified front for activities that promote the sector and the wide variety of career paths within it.

Currently, say the organisations, just 17% of the workforce is 18-34.

Inspiring Futures aims to encourage young people to join the primary production sector by recruiting and training a cohort of ambassadors who currently work in the sector to visit schools and colleges to promote the opportunities in the industry.

Many schools and colleges are already part of the 'Stem Network'. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths, subjects which STEM Ambassadors from industry promote and teach.

Education from industry has proven to be highly successful in guiding the career aspirations of the next generation. It is hoped that by engaging with the ‘workforce of tomorrow’ a supply chain of potential employees can be secured by making youngsters aware of the opportunities offered by the sector. MPQC is looking for people prepared to be Ambassadors. If you would like to be one, send Dave Underhill an email at [email protected].

MPQC says: "Providing we fully engage with Inspiring Futures and other government initiatives, we can prevent the looming skills crisis that currently appears so imminent."


  • 18-34 years olds constitute just 17% of the quarry sector's workforce
  • The average age in the sector is 55
  • Within the next 12 years, most of the current workforce in quarries will have retired
  • From 2020 onwards, 15 new ‘routes’ in technical education (known as T-Levels) will replace the existing vocational post-16 education offering
  • The new ‘routes’ will require close integration between educators and employers across the board as work placements will be absolutely fundamental
  • Inspiring Futures aims to mitigate the impact of these changes by co-ordinating a sustainable pool of employees
  • 93% of secondary schools use STEM Ambassadors from industry. The primary motivation for employers is a direct link to the ‘workforce of tomorrow’; creating a supply chain of potential employees, which is becoming critical for quarrying. This is a direct method of engaging with and inspiring a local audience that has yet to make career choices
  • Inspiring Futures is supported by the Mineral Products Association (MPA), Institute of Quarrying (IQ), Institute of Concrete Technology (ICT), Institute of Asphalt Technology (IAT) and British Aggregates Association (BAA).

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