On the 29th of November, MPQC hosted their inaugural BIG Event at MP House which served as a showcase for new products and initiatives developed by MPQC and its divisions, MP Skills, MP Awards, and MP Futures.
The 70 people in attendance were treated to complimentary tote bags, canapes, and networking opportunities whilst the ground floor of MP House was remodelled to accommodate our seven external exhibitors: The Institute of Quarrying, Mineral Products Association, British Aggregates Association, IEMA, EPC-UK, The University of Derby, and Career Map.
The Mobile Plant simulators proved the most popular attraction with our 4 simulators in constant use throughout the 3-hour event with people even returning for a second go! As fun as they are, the Mobile Plant Simulators have a serious use to them as they help train new plant operators and improve the fuel efficiency of experienced operators.
Keeping the virtual theme going, EPC-UK brought their Virtual Blast simulator to proceedings. A combination of Virtual Reality and the real world, Augmented Reality (AR) takes the form of live video imagery, which is enhanced with computer generated graphics, immersing the user in a specific environment such as a quarry whilst a blast is being conducted.
MP Skills showed off their impressive new range of courses via mini taster sessions including talks focusing on getting the best from your people, driver behaviour, induction & toolbox talks, and contractor management. Each taster had CPD credit attached to it which attendees could redeem using the MPQC App.
Elsewhere MP Skills staff partnered with The University of Derby to answer questions from the industry at the Apprenticeship Surgery and with the Institute of Quarrying as they showed off the new course finder which is built upon the Institute of Quarrying’s Skill Wheel.
Not to be outdone, MP Awards held consultations on the MPQC Blast Operator Competency Scheme as well as showing off their brand-new video.
Completing the trinity, MP Futures brought their Minerals Matter project to the party. Launched in September of 2017, Minerals Matter is an initiative designed to enable all employers in the sector to engage with local young people and show the range of diverse and engaging careers on offer in our industry to young people.
“I really enjoyed the simulators and seeing how real they are! Said Peter Kay, Head of Learning Development at Tarmac. “I’ve just watched my colleague fire a virtual blast too which is the first time she’s ever done something like that.”
“It’s really interesting to see the variety of activities that go on at MPQC and that’s all captured here so I’ve really enjoyed it!”
Sarah-Jane Oates, the Partnerships & Development Officer at IEMA was equally enthusiastic about the event, “There have been lots of interesting stands and things to see and it’s been nice to come and showcase what we at IEMA do.”
“It’s good to get out there and talk to people and explain what people can get involved with and what training they can access. It’s great to get involved in these things.”
Finally, MPQC CEO offered his take on proceedings: “The BIG Event was the first instance of a coordinated strategy of going out to industry and showcasing all the good that MPQC provides our members. I’m delighted the event was so well supported by both our partner organisations and our members and I hope it’s sparked some fantastic conversations as a result. MPQC, in addition to everything else we offer, represents an impartial space for industry to meet on an equal footing.”
You can watch our highlights video by clicking here.