Careers in Quarrying - Graduate
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Careers in Quarrying - Graduate

About the Industry


Through their products, quarries give us places to live, places to work, places to play and much more. They literally underpin our society. Quarrying does, however, have environmental implications. Recognising this, the UK industry aims to adopt a responsible approach to its work and a considerate attitude to its neighbours.

It is easy to regard a quarry as a hole in the ground. It takes a bit more imagination to appreciate that many of the good things of life come out of that hole.

In a typical year, the UK’s quarry network supports:

  • In a typical year, the UK mineral products industry supports:
  • the building of over 100,000 new homes
  • over £7 billion of school and university improvements
  • maintenance of our 230,000-mile road network
  • a £3 billion programme of improvements to water services
  • over £3.5 billion of investment in our rail network
  • supplies of special sands for glass foundry and other industries
  • cleansing of emissions from coal-fired power stations

Although our aggregate consumption per head of the population is lower than that of most of our European neighbours, mineral products are a major industry.

There are over 2000 quarries and associated manufacturing sites in the UK. The industry supplies products and services worth £9 billion worth a year. The construction industry, which contributes nearly ten per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product, is totally reliant on mineral products.

Demand for aggregates (both primary and recycled), which peaked at some 330 million tonnes a year in 1989, has fallen to around 200 million tonnes due to the recession. The industry has committed itself to minimising the call on primary aggregates and is investing heavily in facilities which will maximise the proportion of recycled and secondary aggregates. Britain leads Europe in the race to recycle with these materials now accounting for around a quarter of Great Britain’s aggregate market.

The mineral products industry provides nearly 30,000 jobs directly and supports even more indirectly through the industry’s spending on services. Many of these jobs are in rural areas where other employment opportunities can be scarce.

Many products we take for granted - from paper to glass, cosmetics to toothpaste – are manufactured using materials derived from mineral extraction.

What’s on offer in the sector?

The quarrying and extractives sector is surprisingly broad, and there are opportunities in a number of career disciplines including:

  • Quarrying - varied roles carrying the responsibility of managing the production of aggregates.
  • Road Contracting -vital jobs in laying the nation’s roads to the highest technical standards.
  • Marine Aggregates - aggregates from the seabed are a vital source of materials to UK construction and there are a number of jobs on offer.
  • Business Support - all the above are multi-million pound industries that require high quality business support to keep them running.
  • Environment and Planning - the industry places great emphasis on sustainable development, so planning new operations, restoring the land and careful environment management are important roles.

Find out more about what’s on offer in our job roles section.


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