Established in 2014,Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) is Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy which was created to bridge the gap between employers and young people in order to better prepare youngsters for the world of work.
Twenty-one employer-led DYW regional groups were set up across Scotland to connect business owners with education, Holyrood allocating £6.25 million in 2020/21 for the implementation of DYW school coordinators, with increased funding during the 2021/22 financial year sitting at £8.2m.
In signing the agreement with the councils in North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire, DMG managing director Darren McGhee will engage with around 60 high schools in the area to give senior pupils the opportunity to learn more becoming a skilled professional roofer.
Hosted in the firm’s recently-opened training academy at Strathclyde Business Park, there will be a week’s work experience for S4 pupils, with a foundation apprenticeship available for those in S5. Darren and his team will give pupils practical work such as demonstrating how to fix tile battens, fix broken tiles, how to hammer a nail properly and how to run a roll of felt to keep water out.
“We thrive on our connection with the local community so were delighted when DYW contacted us and put forward a proposal to get involved with the schools in our area,” said Darren, 41, who celebrated a double success at the recent Federation of Small Business Awards in landing Start-Up Business of the Year and the Community Award.
“Most young people at this stage have never had a hammer or a saw in their hands so by bringing them into this safe environment and giving them that opportunity, it is going to be a great experience for them.
“This trade might not be for everyone but it’s a chance for them to try something new, and who knows, some may really like it and want to pursue a career when they leave school.
“It’s been a tough couple of years for school pupils with all the restrictions and I’m hoping this will give those involved a real lift. Hopefully we will see 100s of learners come through the doors in the coming months. They are our next generation and it’s important to do what we can to help them get into employment.”
Rose Coyle, programme manager for DYW Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire, said: “DYW works in partnership with employers and partners, encouraging them to play an active role in shaping Scotland’s education system.
“The headline aim of the programme is to encourage and support more employers to engage directly with schools and colleges to recruit more young people and promote diversity in their workforce.”
He added: “DMG Services Group has so much enthusiasm and an understanding of the DYW agenda and I’m sure this will be a great collaboration with them becoming influencing partners for a number of the local schools.”