On Friday 12th February, with face to face meetings and events remaining impossible during the ongoing pandemic, NDTG hosted their first online Annual General Meeting via Zoom.

It was fantastic to see so many of the Training Group’s Membership logging in to participate in the meeting, which was hosted by current NDTG Chairman David Darsey and supported by Group CEO, Howard Button. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend.

NDTG Members were briefed on NDTG’s activities and business operations of the past 12 months, with the first report presented by Group Company Secretary, Lesley Ransome. Business was understandably affected due to the Coronavirus pandemic, however measures were subsequently taken to reduce direct costs. NDTG were successful in securing G.E.T Funding, with eligible members benefiting from reduced costs of CCDO training. 

Group Training Officer, Iain Kirk, delivered an in depth overview of NDTG’s efforts to adapt during the past year, ensuring that the demolition workforce could continue training in a new virtual, online format. An update on the current cohort of 12 Apprentices taking part in the Trailblazer scheme shared a positive outlook of the demolition apprenticeship, though acknowledgement was made that there is still work to be done to ensure the long-term success of the scheme. 

Iain Kirk encouraged attendees to ensure their workforce were applying for an NVQ to qualify their red ‘Training Operative Card’, which remains valid for three years and cannot be renewed. Following a reduction in NVQ costs in February 2020, prices have remained frozen to help the progression. 

Attention was paid to NDTG’s ongoing initiatives to promote careers in demolition and enable those already working within the industry and wishing to progress. The GTO shared news that NDTG’s successful CITB ‘Routeways into Construction’ bid will unfortunately no longer be funded, due to Covid-19 related cuts at CITB, however, NDTG remains vigilant in seeking new funding opportunities. 

Information on the available CITB Skills & Training (S&T) Fund was provided, including how to apply online whether you are an employer with up to 100 employees, or a medium sized employer with up to 250 staff. One member shared openly that the Fund had been easy to apply for and her company had secured £15,000 in funds for employee development. Should any members need help or further information about the S&T fund, please reach out to the team at NDTG.

Marketing Manager, Natalie Barlow, highlighted the NDTG’s goals for the future, which included continued efforts to ensure that NDTG remained ‘front of mind’ for specialist demolition training, careers information and the provision of support to the existing demolition workforce, whilst also promoting careers in the industry to new entrants. 

Attendees were informed of the new date for industry renowned show ‘Demolition Expo’, which will take place at its brand new location of Stoneleigh Park, near Coventry on 15th and 16th September 2021, with NDTG showcasing to an audience of demolition enthusiasts and business leaders. 

Regarding the ongoing Mental Health & Wellbeing initiative, members were reminded of the support resources available and made aware of future developments in this vital area. NFDC’s CPD certified Ambassador and Manager workshops are currently being converted into bitesize video modules, which will be accessible, on-demand, to the wider demolition industry. Further work is being undertaken to create an online Mental Health & Wellbeing hub, which will centralise both NFDC and third party resources for employers and individuals all in one place. 

As well as providing a full overview of the past 12 months of NDTG’s business operations, the 2021 AGM saw outgoing Chairman David Darsey thank the members and the NDTG team for their support over his two year term, before handing over the reins to Craig MacWilliam of MacWilliam Demolition, while Simon Barlow of Rye Demolition was welcomed as NDTG Vice Chairman.