Dolman sets out stall…

New IDE president uses inaugural speech to set educations focus.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting lockdown might have robbed him of the in-person inauguration he so richly deserved, but new Institute of Demolition Engineers’ president Richard Dolman has wasted no time in setting an educational agenda for his two-year tenure.

“Even during the pandemic, we have played an active role in bringing our members together through online seminars for sharing experience and expertise,” he said during his inaugural speech. “We will continue these in 2021 and are planning our first event in the Spring.”

Dolman is clearly planning to follow in the footsteps of former IDE presidents Terry Quarmby and John Woodward by placing education at the very heart of his presidency. “Our push to drive standards of education into the industry has continued unabated. We should all be proud of the work we have done in creating our own Foundation Degree, delivered by the IDE itself, as well as the Masters Degree delivered by the University of Wolverhampton. These are key initiatives that will secure the future of our industry as we move into a digital age and absorb technological innovation into our operations and management,” he continues. “It is vital that we continue to promote these degrees as widely as possible, not only among existing stakeholders but also through our personal networks, schools and colleges. We must continue to recruit from all sectors of society and communicate the benefits that a career in demolition can offer.”

Dolman is keen to point out that his educational focus does not end at the IDE membership. Rather, he sees education as a means to increasing awareness of the demolition sector and a way of attracting young people into the sector. “I would be in favour of providing a range of small courses that are really targeted at educating others in some specialist, technical aspects of what we do,” he continues. “Such an initiative would only serve to increase awareness of our expertise, to educate the wider construction sector about the capabilities we have to offer and make the Institute a pinnacle of innovation and learning.”

At the same time as refocusing upon formal education, Dolman has further underlined his commitment to learning via shared experience, even when doing so is potentially uncomfortable. “We should be honest and transparent about lessons learned from near misses, about incident reporting and sharing best practice,” he concluded. “Indeed I would like to explore the possibility of a forum – confidential if necessary – whereby we can learn from each other to help drive up standards across the board.”