Community Focus: Industry Insights in Walkden

Construction, demolition, and waste management are industries with deep ties. Skills and experience can often be transferable, and exposure to different sides of each industry is an invaluable part of early career development.

Salford Foundation, Connell Brothers Ltd, and Kenny Waste Management collaborated in December to provide young people with some first-hand experience of the demolition industry. Salford Foundation brought participants from their ‘Find My Future’ programme, Connell Brothers Ltd offered demolition insights and expertise at their site in Walkden, and Kenny Waste Management organised the day providing PPE.

Background

Having closed in 2014, St George’s school had been used by BBC Northwest as a film set for various productions, but in October 2020 the BBC relocated, making the building a target for anti-social behaviour activities.

The structure had fallen into disrepair and the task to carry out the demolition and asbestos removal was awarded to the Salford-based demolition specialists Connell Brothers Ltd.

 

Industry Insights

At the time of our visit, Connell Brothers Ltd had been on site for several weeks having completed the labour-intensive soft strip and asbestos removal phases of the works. Connell Brothers were well underway with the demolition of the old school buildings on Parsonage Drive using their demolition excavators and attachments.

With some structures still undergoing demolition, the participants were able to see the process first-hand. Best practice techniques in demolition are to dismantle structures carefully and methodically, with the arisings and materials being removed and segregated at source. Throughout the works the reuse and recycling of waste is the primary consideration with waste to landfill being the last resort (typically Connell Brothers Ltd reuse/recycle above 96% of waste material from demolished buildings).

The participants also had the opportunity to learn more about the latest technology in demolition plant, the heavy machinery used on site to pick apart the structures. In recent years there has been a decline in the number of new entrants into the demolition industry, but experiences like this can help attract and inspire the next generation of demolition operatives.

Jim Connell, Co-Founder and Company Director at Connell Brothers Ltd, told us:

“Sharing our industry expertise is always a positive experience and we are very happy to have helped with Salford Foundation’s fantastic programme. The future of the industry relies on young people getting involved and learning about the skills and processes that go into demolition. It’s important to foster aspiration and a sense of perspective early on in their careers.”

The opportunity to learn from industry experts was a reward in itself, but Connell Brothers Ltd also kindly offered participants gift cards as part of the experience.

 

Find My Future

Find My Future is a 12-month partnership project, funded by The Prince’s Trust, aiming to help young people in Salford work towards a career in a number of industries including construction. As well as experiences like this, the project offers participants four weeks of sector-specific training and support to increase confidence and wellbeing.

Qualifications that Find My Future has helped young people acquire include:

  • Health and Safety
  • Manual Handling
  • Working at Height

We’d like to thank the whole Salford Foundation team, and in particular Diane Driscoll (Vocational Tutor), Terry George (Shed Coordinator), and Adrian Fields (Shed Manager) for their personal contributions to make the day such a special experience.

Diane Driscoll at Salford Foundation explained:

“Find My Future is built on strategic partnerships with key employers across Greater Manchester. Placing young people into jobs, traineeships, and apprenticeships means offering a range of training and experiences that bolster confidence and familiarity, as well as CVs.”

Alex Mayes, Responsible Business Manager at Kenny Waste Management, commented:

“We want to see more people who are interested in the construction, demolition, and waste management industries getting involved with experiences like these. Engagement is what drives the opportunities, and we are eager to facilitate more events in partnership with Salford Foundation.”

To learn more about our partnership with Salford Foundation, click here.

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