Training and assessment expertise, delivered through experience

Feb 26, 2024

At EPC-UK, we’re proud of the industry standard we’ve set through our training programme development, delivery and assessment. Our effective, career enabling courses equip our own employees and those from other companies with the skills and knowledge to improve industry competencies nationwide. 

Our programme success can be attributed to both comprehensive course content and the expert delivery of a passionate team. 

Michael Allan, QCF Assessor

In this month’s education special of Onsite we talk to training specialist and QCF Assessor, Michael Allan, whose competencies have been strengthened through the relevant experience he’s gained during his own impressive industry career. 

Michael first became employed by EPC-UK, which was called Blasting Services at that point, in 2005 and since 2018 has held the role of QCF Assessor, Blasting Operations. He is also one of our key Trainers for the Quarry Passport Course that operatives can take at our Learning & Development Centre in Alfreton, Derbyshire. 

A wealth of experience 

Michael had already built the foundations of a strong career within the drilling & blasting field before joining EPC-UK. Initially he trained as a Driller in 1990, then as a Shotfirer. Showing increasing potential, he soon became a management team member of the company he was working for at the time. 

This new and advanced role gave Michael experience of compiling method statements, risk assessments and associated health, safety and environment related matters as he furthered his already considerable knowledge and experience of working within quarrying and open cast coal sites. In addition, he worked on pipeline, civil engineering pipejacking, tunnelling and shaft sinking projects, and created complex blast designs to determine vibration levels in sensitive areas.

Strengthening the EPC-UK team

Michael’s move to EPC-UK saw him originally take the role of Area Operations Manager within our Civil Engineering Division. He took responsibility for many civil engineering projects from tendering state to contract completion and as part of the role gathered extensive experience in training and mentoring his team.  In 2014 he was chosen for promotion and became EPC-UK’s Service Manager North, overseeing our quarrying contracts in Leicester, the Midlands and North East areas. Again, the role saw Michael take managerial responsibility for his working operation, ensuring the teams, drill rigs and associated equipment were in place to perform safely.  He monitored project KPIs, and developed relationships with customers that, rewardingly, led on to become long term partnerships.

From starting his career with a hands-on apprenticeship to embarking on a full and progressive management journey, Michael has gathered a level of extensive experience that he wants others to benefit from. 

Competence can be described as the combination of training, skills, experience, knowledge and other qualities that a person has and their ability to apply them to perform a task safely. Other factors, such as attitude and physical ability, can also affect someone’s competence. – Competency as outlined in Quarry Regs 1999

 

Sharing expertise

“After 30 years of working in the field, I felt it was time to support the competency development of others and help them to also map out a successful career in our industry,” Michael says. “The knowledge I’ve gathered as a mentor over three decades enables me to take those who are ‘learning the ropes’ through a series of training programmes, identifying any issues along the way and guiding them as they work to achieve their goals.

“I feel that having access to effective training has never been so important within our sector. As the workforce naturally ages there is an increasing necessity for new, keen and inspired people to join the industry and have access to the training that will help them to work safely and develop skills for the future.  To that effect, I have recently been involved in delivering EPC-UK’s Accelerated Shotfirer Course. This programme has been updated and tailored to train individuals who have the right approach, passion and transferable skills along an accelerated route to achieving their shotfiring qualifications, and consequently bolster specialist industry capabilities out on the quarry top. 

“Those entering the field can have the potential to enjoy a dynamic career if they come with an open mind, a willingness to learn about new technology and a desire to achieve the qualifications required to work safely. It’s a physical industry, which means working in all weather conditions, but once an individual has gained the necessary experience and knowledge to perform with competence and confidence, they can be an asset to our team and feel rewarded by a sense of personal and professional achievement.”  

EPC-UK’s SPIRIT values

Safety, Passion, Integrity, Respect, Innovation and Teamwork

“It’s a privilege to enable employees to progress,” Michael continues, “and in my role as a QCF Assessor, I feel that EPC-UK’s culture of trust and SPIRIT value methodology helps to build a better, safer, more confident and progressive working environment for those I train.  

Safety is always EPC-UK’s number one priority, and as a company the passion felt for delivering effective training and realising industry-leading competency is evident.

“The very nature of working with explosives makes integrity and honesty an integral part of the job, and, as a result, the respect individuals gain from their fellow workers galvanises us as a supportive and involved team. We train and work using innovative techniques and equipment right now, not just as a ‘concept for the future’. This improves our working practices and sustainable credentials and, vitally, helps to keep everybody safer.”

Click here For further information about EPC-UK’s training course availability or make an enquiry by emailing Learning@epc-groupe.co.uk or phoning 01773 832253. To enquire about forthcoming job opportunities within our team, together with supporting training and benefits, email Julie.Wootton@epc-groupe.co.uk

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