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Chris Withers

Following my graduation with a degree in BSc Resource and Applied Geology from The University of Birmingham, I joined the Aggregate Industries Graduate Management Scheme in 2014. I have always been attracted to the extractives side of Geology and the possibility of joining Aggregate Industries as a Trainee Quarry manager was of particular interest to me.

I started my Quarrying journey at one of our largest hard rock sites, Glensanda. Based on the West Coast of Scotland, on the Morvern Peninsula the views from the top of the quarry are very difficult to beat! Due to the scale of the site and the fact that I had never been on a quarry before paved the way for a steep but rewarding learning curve. As my placement rolled on and I became more competent, I got involved with two projects that we had running at the time, the construction of a new primary crusher and the planning stages of a series of settlement lagoons.

Following my first 6 months at Glensanda, I moved down to Mepal Quarry, Cambridgeshire to experience a sand and gravel site. This placement was valuable as there was much fewer personnel on site and the methods of quarrying differ slightly to hard rock extraction and processing. Here I became involved in the maintenance side of the site and took on the unofficial role of ‘maintenance manager’, this position required me to take note of problems and liase with both internal and external bodies to remediate any problems and keep the site running.

 I am currently in my final placement, having moved into the Operational Excellence team within the Asphalt division.  Again I am involved with maintenance across the whole of the UK, visiting various express and mainstream businesses, gathering data and building relationships with various managers. This role permits me to be mobile, meaning I could be in Durham one week and Exeter the next, which for me is an asset to the placement!

I would recommend the Aggregate Industries Graduate management scheme to anyone, at times it can be a dirty and difficult job. However as long as you are willing to work and learn on the job, the scale of the industry and company provides plenty of exciting opportunities for graduates.  

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