A crisis simulation exercise at Tarmac’s Tunstead quarry in Derbyshire has helped teach essential skills to the next generation of industry leaders by sharing best practice in the case of a serious incident.
Around 25 higher apprentices from the University of Derby’s Centre for Mineral Products attended the three-day event, the first of its kind, which was hosted by Tarmac, the UK’s leading sustainable building materials and construction solutions business.
The imagined explosion of a haulier’s cement tanker challenged the apprentices’ knowledge of crisis procedures, stakeholder engagement and environmental management. Actors playing officials from the Environment Agency and the local media heightened the realism of the mock scenario, enabling the students to think on their feet as they investigated the cause of the incident and put into place emergency procedures.
After three days of mock interviews and investigative work, the apprentices presented their findings to a panel of industry experts.
Peter Butterworth, Tarmac’s general manager for Stone & Powders said: “Equipping our industry’s future leaders with the experience they need to succeed is crucial and something that we’re passionate about, so we were pleased to support the University of Derby with this event. Although thankfully extremely rare, staging incidents like this will give these students the opportunity to learn essential skills and strategies for dealing with them safely and effectively, while also ensuring that local communities and the media are engaged in the right way.”
Chris Rowan, asphalt & pavement technology programme leader at the University of Derby’s Centre for Mineral Products, added: “It’s been a privilege to see the flagship operation at Tunstead quarry, and I would like to pass on our thanks to all involved at Tarmac for passing on their expertise to the next generation. The students have taken away some exceptional best practice from the three-day programme that will stay with them as they develop their future careers within this industry.”
The apprentices, who are studying for a foundation degree in Mineral Products Technology, are all employed within the industry and attend university part-time. The government-funded higher
apprenticeship degree prepares candidates for future supervisory and management roles in the minerals and building products sector.