A Ruthin-headquartered civil engineering firm has showed continued commitment to its award-winning apprenticeship scheme with the first intake of a targeted 50 people for the year.
Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK has welcomed the 21-strong group onto its level two plant operative programme.
Jones Bros’ purpose-built training centre in Denbigh has enabled the firm to create tailored courses to its own specification, giving apprentices a wide variety of equipment to train on.
The apprenticeship scheme has produced nearly 50 per cent of its current workforce, with many of its senior managers having started out as apprentices or in a trainee role. It has recruited more than 100 apprentices during the past three years.
One of the recent intake, Mathew James, is “absolutely loving” having the chance to forge a career with Jones Bros after swapping life working at his great uncle’s petrol station and car garage.
He said: “I knew a few lads from Jones Bros before I started, and I knew it was going to be a good opportunity for me.
“It has been one of the best decisions I’ve made, because you get to meet new people and make really good friends, as well as learn new skills.”
Mathew, 25, hails from Bangor, but has relished the independence of working almost 250 miles from home.
“I’ve already been out on-site putting my skills into practice and passed my ride on roller and forward tipping dumper training before heading to High Wycombe to carry out pipework at a recycling centre.
“The chance to work away was something I was looking forward to as I’ve lived at home all of my life.
“It’s fantastic to have that freedom and it helps you really grow up as a person.”
Like Mathew, 19-year-old Connor Brennan has enjoyed life on the road, swapping Llandegla in Denbighshire for the north east of England and working at the Sofia site, which will be one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world.
“It was a really good couple of months up in Middlesbrough,” said Connor. “I was doing general labouring and driving the dumper up there.”
Connor, who has just completed his first aid course at the Training Centre, based at the North Wales Hospital site that Jones Bros is currently redeveloping in Denbigh, is glad he took the opportunity to work for the company.
He added: “I was previously a machine driver, but I didn’t have the technical level of qualifications that Jones Bros wanted, so I jumped at the chance to do an apprenticeship.
“I’ve loved the work I have done so far and being at a company such as Jones Bros has been superb.”
Garmon Hafal, training manager at Jones Bros, said: “We’re really pleased to see how well the group have started on their apprenticeships.
“As a company we are always looking to invest in people, and we are committed to helping those with an interest in the work we do gain knowledge, experience and qualifications that will help them for the rest of their careers.
“I would encourage anyone considering a future in civil engineering to give an apprenticeship some thought.”