From trainee engineer to contracts manager – Owain proves his worth to Jones Bros28th Apr 2022

Owain Evans has worked on more than £60m worth of waste remediation projects during his 12-year career with Jones Bros – and the pace shows no signs of slowing.

The 33-year-old has progressed from trainee engineer working on the Tywyn Sea Defence to contracts manager working for leading UK waste management clients including FCC Environment, Veolia, Hills Waste, and Viridor Environmental.

And now Owain and his team, which can be around 150-strong across projects in the south of England, are playing a role in High Speed 2 (HS2) – a high-speed railway line that is under construction between London and Wigan.

The work involving HS2 is part of a two-year framework with FCC Environment, which has appointed Jones Bros as the sole contractor in a deal worth several million.

Owain said: “The Calvert landfill site in Buckinghamshire is a big project because there is work around moving site infrastructure and relocating the edge of the landfill and re-engineering the site boundaries before the HS2 line will be constructed alongside the site.”

Owain, who hails from Dyserth in north Wales, travels the south of England, visiting projects in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, Croydon, Peterborough, Milton Keynes, Bristol, and Canterbury.

Talking about how his roles and responsibilities have evolved over the years, Owain explained: “I quickly ended up working on landfill engineering projects in the south completing health and safety paperwork and surveying.

“Then I became a site agent and that was focused on the financial side, which included aspects such as financial predictions and pricing projects.

“For three years I was a project manager, which involved covering all the sites in the south, and dealing with clients, plant development and all of the workers.

“I’m very happy to have been promoted to contracts manager and all that it entails from reviewing contracts, agreeing and finalising prices with clients, handling contract programmes, and ensuring key dates are met, as well as managing the overall health and safety, and financial performance, of the projects.”

It seemed like destiny that Owain would have a career in this line of work having studied construction management at the University of Liverpool, and helped start up family business, Evans Environmental.

Owain said: “In the summer holidays I worked with my dad, who was a sub-contractor for Jones Bros. When university was over, I decided to apply for a job with Jones Bros on the back of the work I’d done with the company.

“The training and support you get is fantastic and you are rewarded for the time and effort you put in.”

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 highways, flood and marine defence, waste management and renewable energy around the UK.

The company runs an award-winning apprenticeship scheme, which 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.