Elen reflects on her career at Jones Bros20th Nov 2023

From a degree in mathematics to tendering for multi-million-pound projects, Elen James-Owen has taken another step up the career ladder at Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK.

Hailing from Denbigh, the Cardiff University graduate has been promoted to senior quantity surveyor and her ambitions show no sign of slowing as she considers a journey towards chartership.

Joining the Ruthin-based company as an assistant estimator, Elen has since completed a master’s degree in quantity surveying and commercial management at Liverpool John Moores University.

She said: “I feel very fortunate when I think about my role at Jones Bros, as I’ve had so much support in my professional development and had the opportunity to be involved in significant construction projects from start to finish.

“When I was completing my A-levels, a career in quantity surveying was suggested to me, however, I felt there wasn’t a huge amount of advice on offer and opted for an undergraduate course which kept my options open.

“Therefore, to join a team that encourages progression and to be given the chance to further my education through postgraduate study alongside working was amazing.

“The company fully funded the degree and supported me to become qualified in a way that worked best for me.”

During her master’s degree, Elen balanced one day a week of classroom learning with time in the office and has felt encouraged to shape the job around her interests as she rises through the ranks.

She has played a key part in tendering and managing costings on major contracts in the renewables sector, including the onshore civil works for the Morlais tidal energy scheme and phases of the Sofia and Dogger Bank C wind farm projects.

Elen added: “Across my three years in the role, I have been able to combine tender responsibilities with cost and commercial management on live projects.

“Having variation means every day is different and allows me to have a full overview of a project, which is what I love most.

“It has meant I have been able to travel to various sites across the country and watch jobs take shape from tender drawings to completion, which provides a sense of satisfaction and has massively improved my technical understanding.”

Promotion is just one of her many achievements this year, as she also completed the Manchester Half Marathon in aid of Sands Charity with her family and is continuing her role as team captain of Denbigh Town Ladies Football Club.

She added: “It’s fantastic to be part of a growing company, which meaningfully gives back to the communities it works within and furthers the causes its employees care about.

“Jones Bros are the main sponsors for my football team and have funded the playing and training kits for a total of four seasons. Their continued encouragement and financial support have been invaluable.”

Jones Bros has also provided a contribution towards Denbigh Town’s wider fundraising scheme to update the changing room, kitchen, and clubhouse facilities, meaning the venue meets the Football Association of Wales’ requirements to host international matches.

Established in the 1950s, Jones Bros owns one of the largest plant fleets in the UK and employs approximately 500 people.

The company is currently working on contracts in various sectors including highwaysflood and marine defencewaste management and renewable energy around the UK.

The company runs an award-winning apprenticeship scheme, which has produced nearly 40 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.