Determination pays off for successful apprentice Mark8th Mar 2017

After Mark Henry set his sights on a career in the civil engineering sector, nothing was going to stop him from getting to his interview – not even the closure of a motorway following a major incident.

Mark had set out in plenty of time from his home near Glasgow to attend an interview for an apprenticeship position at Jones Bros HQ 250 miles away in Ruthin, North Wales.

He had been due to arrive for his interview at 2pm but an accident on the M6 motorway in Lancashire, resulting in a truck spilling its thousands of gallons of diesel, forced him and his mum Linda to take a lengthy diversion.

The pair finally arrived in Ruthin at 6pm where interviewers had waited for Mark. His interview was successful and the former member of the British Army has since successfully graduated with flying colours as a general construction operative with the family firm.

Mark, 22, said: “The journey was going well until we got to Lancaster where a lorry had over-turned, spilling diesel everywhere. I kept in regular contact with Jones Bros, letting them know where I was and what time I was due to arrive. Luckily, they waited for me.”

Since starting his apprenticeship last year, Mark has gained experience working on the Crystal Rig lll wind farm extension in Scotland, as well as honing his skills at Greengairs landfill site, also in Scotland.

“I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship and have learned so much,” added Mark.

Richard Owen, Jones Bros’ training manager, said: “We look for commitment and determination in our trainees and Mark clearly showed both. We were more than happy to wait for Mark as he kept us informed throughout his gruelling journey. He has since proved an asset to the team.”

Mark is one of six apprentices to have graduated as a general construction operative (GCO) from Jones Bros’ newest apprenticeship scheme.

The GCO scheme was introduced after Jones Bros identified a decrease in workers with expertise in skills including drainage and concreting.

The latest batch of apprentices will bolster the number of workers at the company trained in road infrastructure skills, such as drainage, kerbing and manhole construction.

To prepare for the new course, Jones Bros updated its in-house training centre to include an area for excavating and locating underground services and, provision for working on different road surfaces.