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Specialists Awards winner: Training Excellence

Who is helping train the stars of the future? Find out this year’s training excellence winner.

Winner: AR Demolition

A passionate commitment to developing all of its employees saw AR Demolition win the Training Excellence award.

Training is very much at the heart of Midlands-based AR Demolition, a £9m-turnover business with around 80 employees, and it’s what founder and director Richard Dolman attributes the firm’s success to.

The judges said Mr Dolman is a true ambassador for the industry. They praised his passion for training and described him as a role model other businesses should look up to.

A self-taught operative, Mr Dolman is taking the lead on ensuring all his direct employees and subcontractors are fully trained and have the right qualifications.

All employees from site operatives to administrative staff receives, on average, 10 training days a year. Two of those days are ‘Stop the Job’ days, during which all sites are closed and employees come together for essential training and to discuss lessons learned – a big undertaking for an SME business.

“What AR Demolition is doing is very impressive. They are seeing the gaps in the industry and closing them themselves”

Judges’ comment

On site, all staff have been issued with a training folder and are expected to have their certificates with them at all times. If subcontractors do not have the appropriate qualifications, AR Demolition will ensure they are fully trained.

The judges were particularly impressed by Mr Dolman’s commitment to training young people.

He has become a STEM ambassador for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and goes into schools to inspire young people and tell them about the opportunities a career in demolition can offer.

AR Demolition enrolled six apprentices in autumn 2013 and also accommodates work experience placements where possible.

The firm is committed to homegrown employees so that young people are instilled with the business’s own culture and values, including safety, reliability and trust.

AR Demolition is now designing its own apprenticeship programme for demolition plant operatives to ensure the training meets its high standards.

AR Demolition is a member of the National Demolition Training Group, and has demonstrated innovation by contributing to the development of the Demolition Plant Simulator to improve training and ensure safety.

The firm has taken it upon itself to transform the culture of training and development within the demolition industry. In 2012/13, it spent £151,347 on training and delivered 617 training days to guarantee its projects are delivered safely and to a high standard.

Highly commended: PiLON

Social housing refurbishment and building specialist PiLON demonstrated an exceptionally comprehensive training programme that impressed the judges.

Its PiLON Passport system keeps a record of the training all employees have received, and can be accessed by site managers through a unique QR code to ensure operatives only undertake work they are trained to do.

The company also shows a commitment to developing staff at all levels, from bringing new people into the industry through its vetting and skill centres, to putting existing employees through its own management academy to help them move up through the business.

PiLON demonstrated very high standards, having only employed 273 of the 450 people who had been through its vetting centres at the end of 2013.

The judges noted thatt PiLON staff were trained to deal with potentially vulnerable adults and difficult situations in social housing.

They also praised the investment in training and “fantastic systems” PiLON had implemented, despite being a relatively small business.



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