CONFERENCE: IDE – Attracting Demolition Talent & Lessons Learnt

Richard Dolman, current President at the Institute of Demolition Engineers and Managing Director of Midlands-based A R Demolition, takes to the conference stage at Demo Expo on 15th September at 12.45pm. An advocate for professional development, attracting newcomers to industry and sharing learning amongst peers, join Richard as he shares views on the demolition degree, recruitment and creating a culture of openness within the demolition industry – a synopsis of his session is below:


Like many industries, ours faces some major challenges. I’d suggest that top of the list is finding new entrants in a competitive recruitment market.

That’s why I think the new master’s and Foundation Degrees, both developed by the Institute of Demolition Engineers alongside the University of Wolverhampton, can play such a vital part in carrying our sector forward into the 21st Century.

By demonstrating our expertise in the form of internationally recognised qualifications we can dispel any notions that we operate under anything except the most stringent safety standards.

And through proudly telling the stories of the new entrants into our profession, by showing youngsters and career changers that demolition is an exciting and technologically interesting place to be, we can attract new talent into our companies.

We all have a part to play in this. We should be engaging with graduates and potential apprentices through all of our networks – in our business and our personal lives – to shout about the opportunities we can offer.

It is not only just the youngsters we should be appealing to. Many of those already in construction, engineering, project management, finance or health and safety should find us a welcoming and stimulating industry to become involved with.

I also believe that a culture of openness and honesty would go a long way to improve standards across our industry and help improve the reputation of what we do. So it would be great if more people were prepared to raise their head above the parapet and have honest discussions in an open forum. It’s something we’ve done recently at AR Demolition and I think it would be worthwhile if other industry leaders would follow suit.

As well as sharing experiences, sharing knowledge can also play a valuable role. We all have our own unique specialist expertise and there are many benefits – for safety, standards and eventually our finances – in making this expertise more widely available.

I’m therefore keen for the IDE to be a hub for short talks on specific topics and that’s something we’ll be looking to roll out over the coming months.


Richard started his first business in 1994 aged just 20, as an owner operator of a JCB. The fledgling business developed to encompass site clearance and, eventually, demolition.

AR Demolition was founded in 2007 and has since earned a reputation for being one of the most dynamic and innovative demolition contractors in the UK.

Richard works tirelessly to improve all processes and procedures within his own company, as well as the wider demolition industry. He works closely with clients to achieve optimum outcomes, incorporating stakeholder involvement at the earliest possible stage date on every project.

Richard’s wider vision is for the demolition industry is to work with industry and government bodies, promoting and sharing best practice, lessons learned, innovating and raising the positive professional profile of demolition within the construction industry.

In 2016 Richard was made a Fellow of the Institute of Demolition Engineers (IDE). Currently IDE President, he has been instrumental in developing and promoting both the Foundation Degree in Demolition Management and the MSc Demolition Management degree, the latter of which he has recently passed with distinction.