New demolition degree builds skills for the future of construction

An agreement has been reached that will see the UK’s first ever degree course for demolition launched next year in the Black Country.

The Institute for Demolition Engineers (IDE) used its Autumn Seminar to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Wolverhampton that will see bespoke courses developed to give more than 100 people every year the chance to study for a Bachelor of Science or Masters of Science Demolition and Restoration Management in the Built Environment degree.

The sector, which works on more than £8bn of projects ever year, will use the qualifications to attract more young people into the industry, as well as ensuring current demolition engineers have access to the best possible professional development opportunities.

The University’s ambitious plans for a new School of Architecture and the Built Environment forms the largest phase of its £100m redevelopment of the former brownfield Springfield Brewery site – part of its £250 million Our Vision, Your Opportunity investment to drive economic growth in the Black Country.

The new campus will be a centre of excellence for the built environment, construction and high value manufacturing to be delivered by the University and it is partners.  More than 20 people have signed up for the degree courses, which will be officially launched in September 2017.

The curriculum will be taught on site and at the new Springfield Campus and will comprise of up to 15 different modules, ranging from asbestos removal and façade retention to working with explosives and health and safety.

Wolverhampton-born Matt Birch, a trainee Demolition Engineer at C&D Consultancy, is one of the first individuals to sign up for the new Demolition Degree. He said: “This is such an exciting breakthrough for our sector and gives me the ideal opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge even further, not to mention the chance to secure a national qualification in the process.

“I first thought about demolition as a career when John Woodward, Managing Director of C&D, visited our school and talked to us about what was involved. Every day is different and that immediately captured my imagination and I’m already learning that there are lots of technical aspects you have to learn. This Degree is the icing on the cake. I am also really proud that my home city University is leading the world with offering this qualification."

Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, said: “We have a proud track record of working in the field of construction and already have embedded certain elements of the demolition sector into our courses.

“The new site will provide a collaborative research environment, working closely with business and partners like IDE to offer cutting-edge facilities equipped with the latest technologies to provide innovative teaching – like the new Demolition degree - across a lifelong learning ladder of opportunities.”

Duncan Rudall FIDE, President of the IDE said: “We want to give people working in our sector the same opportunity as other industries to be officially recognised for their skills and expertise and the Demolition degree is the first step in this direction.

“It is also an important milestone in trying to get more young people interested in pursuing a career with us. On the positive side, we have no problem attracting labourers and operatives but we want youngsters to consider careers as chartered demolition engineers and senior managers.

“There isn’t anything like this currently in the UK and the University of Wolverhampton has shown their passion and understanding of our sector by agreeing to work with us to shape the content and delivery of the courses.”

Demolition experts Dr Terry Quarmby (Dorton Group), Mick Ulyatt (Samuelson Consulting), John Woodward (C&D Consultancy), Vernon Watson (QCMS) and Richard Dolman (AR Demolition) have all been involved in the initial planning, with industry trainers set to be involved in delivering the demolition specific elements of the degree.

This will be reinforced by experienced lecturers at the University of Wolverhampton, led by Dr Paul Hampton, Head of Department at the School of Architecture and Built Environment.

So far more than 20 people have signed up for the degree courses, which will be officially launched in September 2017.

Boasting more than 400 members, the IDE exists to promote and foster the science of demolition engineering. This includes promotion of more efficient techniques in the industry, encourage safer methods of working and the provision of a qualifying body for the industry.

Check out further information about IDE and School of Architecture & Built Environment courses.

Picture Caption from left to right: Dr Paul Hampton, Head of Department, School of Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Wolverhampton, Duncan Rudall, President of the IDE, Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton and Anthony Hatfield, Senior Lecturer in Built Environment who will be assisting in delivering the course.

ENDS

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736 or 01902 518647

Date Issued:  1st November 2016

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