Improving the industry by degrees

07 September 2017

A United Kingdom university has officially launched the country’s first master’s degree course in demolition management.

Left to right: Dr Paul Hampton (University of Wolverhampton), Patricia Sloneczny and Richard Dolman (AR Demolition) and John Woodward (C&D Consultancy) at the course’s ultimate site

The University of Wolverhampton is offering the qualification after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Institute of Demolition Engineers last year. The IDE-accredited course will be delivered by both academic and demolition sector experts. The university said that demolition companies work on more than £8 billion (US$10.5 billion) of projects each year.

One of the first people to sign up for the course was Richard Dolman, director of midlands-based contractor AR Demolition. As well as the benefit to himself, he supports the wider aim of the course to attract more young people to the industry.

“This new degree is a great step forward for learning and will be brilliant for our industry, moving forward in its quest to be ever more professional,” said Richard.

“I thought I’d like to get a degree in what I do, especially as I was never interested academically when I was younger.

“There’s a huge skills gap in demolition on all levels and it’s a personal challenge of mine to start to plug that gap.”

Dr Paul Hampton, head of built environment at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “Our focus is to develop courses that are sector relevant. We are confident this will provide a significant offer to the demolition industry and the wider built environment sector.”

Mick Ulyatt, chair of the IDE Education Committee, said: “The formal accreditation of this degree is an historic landmark for the development of demolition engineering and is an important milestone in trying to get more young people interested in pursuing a career in this field.

“We have no problem attracting labourers and operatives, which is great. However, we want youngsters looking to become chartered demolition engineers, senior managers and the leaders of the future.”

Ten people have signed up for the master’s course, which will comprise up to 15 modules ranging from asbestos removal and façade retention to working with explosives and health and safety.

It will eventually transfer to a redeveloped campus on the site of a former brewery in the city.

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