New academy looking to develop next generation of roofers in Lanarkshire

Darren McGhee, managing director of DMG Services Group Ltd, says now is the “right time to launch” apprentice-seeking service.

A Coatbridge roofer is aiming high as he looks to have people looking to start a career in the profession reaching for the stars.

Darren McGhee, managing director of DMG Services Group Ltd, has launched the new DMG Academy of Roofing in Bellshill.

Darren, who has 20 years’ experience in roofing and started the firm with his wife Kerry, has been planning his own academy for a number of years – and says now is the “right time to launch”.

Darren told Lanarkshire Live : “It’s been on my mind for many years, but I’ve never really had the work or the profile to set something like this up.

“Winning Britain’s Top Tradesperson in 2019 gave me a profile and now the housebuilders are providing me with work. I have 10 years of work secured so the perfect time is now.

“I can’t wait to expand and invest in the academy – and the next generation.

“I’ll regret it if I don’t do this now. Every year my team is getting older – roofing’s a young person’s game.

“My aim is to attract 17-year-olds for a four-year apprenticeship. By the time they are 21, I’ll have a skilled tradesperson taught to my standards to work on the sites already lined up for them.”

Darren added: “This is going to be an amazing opportunity for young kids in North Lanarkshire to come along and hopefully be able to gain an apprenticeship from us.

“We are hoping to have kids from Lanarkshire schools coming to our academy for their work experience for many years to come, with the pathway to college.”

During the special launch event for the Strathclyde Business Park based academy, Darren and his team welcomed representatives from Cala Homes, Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Homes, Balfour Beatty, David Wilson and Miller Homes, along with Coatbridge MSP Fulton MacGregor.

Darren said: “We carry out the roofing works for all of the builders who came along and they are all keen to support our academy.

“Taylor Wimpey have already agreed to give us £35 back for every roof we carry out for them to put back into training; and we are in talks with all of the others about doing something similar.”

He added: “Roofing is a hard game, it’s not for everyone, yet it’s so rewarding. I love encouraging a new start to keep going and give it a real shot, to then see a great roofer emerge.

“All I need is a young person who turns up with a good attitude and a willingness to learn – we’ll give them everything else, and if they can do that, the world’s their oyster.”

Source: Daily record