DMG Academy Celebrates First Successful Year with Future Fridays

THE DMG ACADEMY held an Open Day on 7 March to celebrate its first successful year and explain its latest development – a new initiative called ‘Future Fridays’.

Darren McGhee, who owns DMG Services Group Ltd in Bellshill near Glasgow, opened his in-house training academy for aspiring roofers in 2021. Since then, he has been introducing young people to roofing who go on to be employed as roofing labourers or begin a roofing apprenticeship.

Now, Darren has teamed up with North Lanarkshire Council’s Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) scheme to offer a roofing skills taster to pupils from 64 high schools across the country.

Future Fridays 

Darren explained, “Future Fridays is for any young person showing an interest in roofing to enrich their educational experience. We bring in groups of 6-7 young people and start by introducing them to Health and Safety in the workplace. We provide them with hard hats and fit them up with all the PPE needed on a construction site. Then we show them a video and follow it up with questions to make sure they’ve understood.

“Next, we show them the make-up of a roof, explaining what each component does. Then they get stuck right in with fitting felt and battens. It’s basic roofing right from day one and they love to get hands on!”

Since starting Future Fridays Darren has had three schools visiting, one of which is Buchanan High school which caters for children with additional needs including autism and Downs Syndrome. Darren, who is eager to promote inclusion and equality, was particularly keen to provide a taster session for the pupils as his own stepson attended Buchanan High. As well as having a very fulfilling experience, pupils from the school also helped provide catering services for the Open Day.

The DMG Academy is also busy with school leavers, and Darren himself has employed seven apprentices who have come through its doors, where roofing hopefuls get six weeks’ introduction to roofing. He plans to employ another 10 apprentices this year, to keep pace with demand for DMG’s roofing services, especially from Edinburgh headquartered new home developer, Cala Homes.

Darren explains, “We’ve won Cala’s Contractor of the Month every month. They’re very impressed with what we’re doing. The reports coming back from the site managers and agents about DMG teams – their attitude, their workmanship, their cleanliness – are second to none.

“So, our approach is obviously working. Our roofers haven’t developed any bad habits. They learn, not only how to do the job well, but how to be respectful, from day one.”

Expert lead caster, sculptor and trainer Craig Marshall from CM Leadworks delivers lead training at the DMG Training Academy.

Giving Back

Darren’s investment in the Academy has been beneficial both for his business and helping to give back to the roofing and wider community, he says.

He’s recently agreed to sponsor Harestanes Football Club, and as part of the agreement secured tickets for Falkirk Football Club which he gives to local families for every home game.

This spring also sees the resumption of the popular lead welding and bossing courses at the DMG Academy provided by the Lead Sheet Training Academy, which local roofing firms can send their employees to. Darren also feeds youngsters from the Academy to other local roofing firms looking to employ an apprentice, partnering with the Roofing Department at South Lanarkshire College.

The DMG Academy gives school leavers a taste of roofing skills from day one with experience using the pitched roofing rigs.

Darren’s willingness to open up the talent pool to other local companies has raised eyebrows in some quarters as potentially furthering his competitors’ businesses. But Darren doesn’t see it like that: “That’s old thinking,” he says.

“There’s enough work for us all. I look at it as a positive, the more recruits and upskilling there is, the better it is for the trade. It can only benefit Scottish roofing to bring up standards and eliminate the cowboys.”

Darren has an employee incentive scheme which is designed to motivate and foster loyalty in his workforce. He cites a young DMG roofer who has just won a block of driving lessons as February’s Employer of the Month. It benefits Darren to bring on the next generation of independent roofing squads that can drive in a work van, and benefits his employees who can earn up to £1,000 per month leading their own team.

“If you train and upskill your staff, why would they leave an environment that’s so good for them?” Darren ends.


>> Read more about DMG Academy in the news

The post DMG Academy Celebrates First Successful Year with Future Fridays appeared first on Roofing Today.

Generated by Feedzy