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North Wales construction company inspires a new generation of builders

Brenig Construction quantity surveyor Caroline Thomas with Denbigh High School pupils Luke Main and Holly Thomas at the town’s Llwyn Eirin development. Picture by Mandy Jones Photography.

A leading construction company is in the running for an award for helping to inspire a new generation to join the industry.

Brenig Construction, which has sites across North Wales and the North West, has been shortlisted for a Careers Wales Valued Partner Awards 2022 in the ’Best Newcomer Award category.

The winners will be announced at a glittering occasion in Cardiff hosted by hosted by DJ and presenter, Huw Stephens on November 8.

The fast-growing Mochdre-based company has built a track record of working with local schools and communities where it has active sites and of taking on and training apprentices and other staff.

Brenig Health and Safety and Training Manager Adam Jones said: “It’s great to be recognised for the work we do to promote careers in construction and particularly for women in construction.

“We’re very proud of the difference we’re making and to be nominated for this award is a nice acknowledgement of that.

“We like to engage with the communities in the places where we work and particularly with local schools where we conduct sessions about the different roles within construction and the entry routes into a career in the building industry.

“We have done this successfully at a number of sites including at Llwyn Eirin in Denbigh where we have an exciting project to build Denbighshire County Council’s first council estate for almost 40 years.

“All the homes there are built to low-energy passivhaus standards using advanced building techniques which are being increasingly used within the construction industry and which are very much the shape of things to come.

“When we take school students around an active site they get a chance to speak to the skilled tradespeople on site and understand how all the different roles fit together and hopefully it will inspire some of these young people to make a career in construction.

“It is also our goal to employ as many local companies as possible on our sites so that the community where we are working gets an extra benefit in the form of wages and training opportunities.”

The company is keen to encourage more young women into the industry and quantity surveyor Caroline Thomas, from Abergele, said: “People used to think women weren’t strong enough to work in construction but we are and there are so many different roles within the industry that there are lots of opportunities.

“At the moment 14 per cent of the construction workforce is female but that’s growing and I have a number of friends who work in the building industry.

“Women can be bricklayers, decorators and plant operators as well as architects, surveyors and engineers and I go on site and go up ladders just like the men and I’m treated the same as them too.

“Brenig believe in equal opportunities and among our staff we have a number of women including drivers, painters, an architect and an ecologist.”

Nikki Lawrence, chief executive at Careers Wales, said: “Congratulations to Brenig Construction for being shortlisted for a Valued Partner Award.

“This event allows us to thank businesses for providing local pupils with meaningful experiences and empowering them with work-related knowledge that will help them shape their futures.

“Working with schools to provide valuable careers support helps inspire and motivate the younger generation and future workforce of Wales.”

The Brenig Construction Group, based in Mochdre, near Colwyn Bay, was established by joint managing directors Mark Parry and Howard Vaughan who first met as six-year-olds at their local youth club in Glan Conwy in 1987.

They both qualified as civil engineers before being reunited at Dawnus Construction which they left to found Brenig in 2012 and the company now employs over 70 staff and is turning over more than £20 million a year with an order book bulging with £60 million of work.

Their passivhaus projects, among the first of their kind in Wales, are in Old Colwyn, Llanrwst and in Denbigh and they also have projects under way across North Wales and into Cheshire at Middlewich, Crewe and Winsford.

In 2018 they moved into new headquarters at the business park in Mochdre and work closely with housing association Cartrefi Conwy and increasingly as a housebuilder in their own right as Bamber Homes and have expertise in civil engineering and groundworks while their portfolio now also includes maintenance, social housing, commercial housing and plant hire.