Meaning of at the coalface in English:

at the coalface


  • Engaged in work at an active rather than a theoretical level in a particular field.

    ‘academics should work closely alongside the clinicians at the coalface’
    • ‘What is missing from this otherwise comprehensive compendium is a practical guide for clinicians at the coalface.’
    • ‘My full-time career on the Bolton Evening News ended at the week-end when I retired after nearly 39 years of honest toil at the coalface of provincial journalism.’
    • ‘At last the truth is out - and it's a truth all of us slugging away at the coalface while the fat cats dine out on our labours have suspected all along.’
    • ‘The bigger we became, the further removed we were from our people at the coalface.’
    • ‘Some of these leaders had never been at the coalface - they were university graduates and reached their positions through that path and I think it had a negative effect on the trade union movement as a whole.’
    • ‘The responsibility for changing the system lies with barristers, judges, solicitors, paralegals and all those who work at the coalface of the legal system, he said.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, their good work is undermined by a professional association that is more attuned to the elites than to those at the coalface.’
    • ‘Clinical ethics committees cannot alone cope with the demands of ethically troubled doctors at the coalface.’
    • ‘There is a mismatch between what we believe and what is actually happening at the coalface of the economy.’
    • ‘The company likes to drive up the share price but doesn't pass on the benefits to those at the coalface.’
    • ‘I believe that a party leader must listen first and foremost to the parliamentary party because they are the people who are out working on the coalface.’