Tarmac and the University of Derby collaborate to drive skills for next generation of leaders

May 3, 2018

A crisis simulation exercise at Tarmac’s Tunstead site in Derbyshire has helped teach essential skills to the next generation of industry leaders by sharing best practice for dealing with serious incidents.

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 at its Tunstead site near Buxton.

The exercise focused on a mocked-up explosion of a haulier’s cement tanker – this 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. The safety of our operations is always top priority and thankfully these types of incidents are extremely rare. However, staging situations 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 kept informed.”

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 operations at Tunstead, and I would like to thank 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.

Picture caption: Higher apprentices from Derby University on a tour of the Tunstead site as part of their three-day event to develop crisis handling and leadership skills.