Demolition - a trainee’s view

16 January 2023

Demolition facing a severe challenge when it comes to talent acquisition and retention, and for contractors it is vital to entice new blood to the industry to ensure its future health and competitiveness.

Kane Moran Kane Moran joined Rye Group three years ago and enjoys the varied nature of the work on site. (Photo: Rye Group)

Outreach to schools and colleges is one such pathway for raising its profile and the attractive career opportunities it offers to young people. Equally, so is the provision of trainee and apprenticeship positions but we must also listen to the feedback from industry newcomers, so we can understand their journey into demolition so far and what we can all do to support it. Equally, so is the provision of trainee and apprenticeship positions.

But the industry must also listen to the feedback from industry newcomers, so it can understand their journey into demolition so far and what everyone involved can do to support it.

One such person is Kane Moran, who has been working at United Kingdom-based demolition and supporting services company, Rye Group, since leaving school.

Here, Kane shares his thoughts as to why he chose to enter the industry and what he has learned in the past three years.

What is your role at Rye Group?

I’m a trainee demolition operative and machine driver. I started with Rye in January 2020 and have been learning on the job ever since. It’s a journey of learning that never stops and it has been a great three years.

What were you doing before entering the demolition industry?

I am 19 years old and have grown up in the area. I went to school locally and my dad has worked with Rye for a long time. Growing up, I was always able to visit sites with him, so have always been interested in the industry, especially the machines.

When I left school at 16, dad made an introduction to Rye’s managing director, Simon Barlow, and he was happy to bring me on as a trainee.

What do you enjoy most about the work?

I like getting in a dumper or a digger and getting stuck in. You very quickly see the difference as you make changes to an area

In my role I’m always swapping around too. I get to work in machines, as well as labouring. The variety is great and keeps the job interesting.

What does your job involve?

One day I might be shifting earth around site or grading waste through our screeners, the next I’ll be putting up fencing, changing attachments on machines, breaking out concrete or any one of many other labouring tasks.

What does a day in your life at work look like?

We arrive on site at about 7.25 in the morning, sign in and spend the first half hour checking machines and getting ready for the day.

We check the tyres for pressure, bulges and shrapnel that may have become embedded. We ensure the hydraulics and tracks are in good condition and fuel up for the day. We fill the machines, check fencing, walk-ways and generally ensure we’re safe to start work.

There will be a briefing from the foreman, when we discuss the work for the day and have a health and safety briefing, and then we get going.

We all break at 10 am and then again at one o’clock for lunch. We all break at the same time, so it’s a good opportunity to spend some time with the rest of the team.

The day typically finishes around 4 pm, depending on light conditions. We then do a site check, ensuring everything is tidy and safe overnight.

What training do you undertake as part of your role?

When I started, I was put through a variety of training programmes straight away.

I have my green and red CCDO [Certificate of Competence for Demolition Operatives] cards and a range of NPORS [National Plant Operators Registration Scheme] tickets, which I’m adding to all the time.

All my training is on the job and I’m lucky to work with so many experienced people that are willing to help and support me.

What is your proudest moment or greatest achievement so far?

I’m not sure there’s one thing, but I have really enjoyed gaining experience and earning new NPORS tickets for different machines.

The team has been great at helping me get into the industry.

What would you like someone who’s interested in working in demolition?

To work hard and to listen. The work is tough, but it’s rewarding. If you are keen to learn and work hard then any reputable company will support you day to day, especially with training opportunities.

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