exploring the future for minerals and people

Inspiring Futures: Engaging the Next Generation

Inspiring Futures is a new initiative, facilitated by the MP Futures division of the Mineral Products Qualifications Council (MPQC), which aims to attract the next generation of talented young people to the minerals and mining sector.

Working alongside STEM Learning, a national organisation that is dedicated to raising young people’s engagement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) subjects and careers, the initiative largely revolves around coordinating and training a pool of Industry Ambassadors, made up from employees already working within the sector. The idea then is for these Ambassadors to actively promote the sector and engage with young people by visiting schools, career fairs, coordinating site visits and much more.

The initiative, which is free to all MPQC members and funded by MPQC, launched in September 2017 and last month MPQC welcomed the first cohort of industry employees to their Head Office in Nottingham for an initial training session. Travelling from as far afield as Kilmarnock and Maidenhead, 14 of the industry’s best and brightest were treated to a packed day, learning the skills and information they need to inspire the next generation toward our sector. Expertly guided by STEM Learning’s Charlotte Land, MP Futures’ Anthony Elgey and Neil Peacock, the group responded well to the tasks set for them and rapidly developed a team comradery.

During the day Ambassadors were challenged to utilise and develop skills in communication, observation, analysis, research, reasoning, debate, lateral thinking, confidence, team working and many other abilities critical to both our industry and future workforce. Participating in projects specifically developed to help raise awareness of our sector, all were surprised just how much of their knowledge is relevant to the outreach work they will be doing.

Throughout the day the Ambassadors themselves described our unique sector as challenging, interesting, an industry that is constantly evolving and one where an individual’s input is genuinely valued and able to affect change. All stated that they enjoy many opportunities for personal development and progression through clear career planning and access to qualifications. However, perhaps most importantly, they also described it as an industry in which they feel safe, both personally and professionally. These are the messages that they will now be spreading as they head out on their path to engaging young people and helping secure the future of our sector.

Attendees described the training session as:

“very interesting … gave us loads of information to use”

“really well organised … the structure was extremely professional”

“engaging activities … your tips about presentation skills will be extremely useful”

All went away excited about their future as an Industry Ambassador and eager to start; two Ambassadors were so keen that they participated in a school careers event within days of completing the induction!

The next cohort of Industry Ambassadors is scheduled to be inducted on the 11th December at MPQC’s Head Office in Nottingham, with many more sessions planned for 2018. Don’t delay in getting your workforce involved with the initiative and helping to secure the future of our sector.

Further information about becoming an Industry Ambassador and the commitment involved is available here.

Email david.underhill@mp-qc.co.uk for further information and to sign up to the next training session.

Watch video soundbites from some of the new Industry STEM Ambassadors here on the MPQC YouTube channel.

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Inspiring Futures is supported by MPA, BAA, IoQ, ICT and IAT.