Helping hand as Hari shows the ropes to first Morlais apprentices1st Aug 2022

A higher apprentice is passing on his knowledge to new recruits as construction gets underway on a £36 million tidal energy project in Anglesey.

Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK is building the onshore infrastructure for renewables project Morlais, which has the potential generating capacity of 240MW – enough to power around 180,000 typical households.

Throughout the scheme, Jones Bros and fellow North Wales-based company, Menter Môn, who is leading the project, will be committed to creating local job opportunities and training apprentices.

Project engineer Hari Evans, one of six higher Jones Bros apprentices to have completed a four-year civil engineering course, is currently overseeing one of the eight new recruits already working on-site.

Hari said: “It’s fantastic to be given the opportunity and added responsibility that comes with being in charge of an apprentice and showing them the ropes.

“I’ve worked on Clocaenog Forest Wind Farm and various other projects in North Wales, and I am looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into work at Morlais.”

Ruthin-based Jones Bros secured the main contract worth £23.5 million and is responsible for the construction of the landfall substation on Holy Island, as well as cabling which will connect the scheme to the National Grid.

Gerallt Llewelyn, a director with Morlais, said: “It’s great news that Morlais is already delivering local jobs and providing these opportunities for young people.

“This is why we are determined to take on this project and it’s exactly what we set out to do.

“With these skills in high demand, apprenticeships like this will help train and develop local talent and will put these youngsters on the right track to develop their future careers in construction and engineering.”

Eryl Roberts, contracts director for Jones Bros, added: “We are delighted to be in a position to offer these opportunities to this group of local young people.

“It’s part of our ethos as a business and we hope that it’s only the beginning as we create further opportunities as the work on Morlais progresses.”

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.

Morlais is the largest UK tidal energy development run by a social enterprise. Once constructed it will see clean electricity generated off the coast of Anglesey.

With onshore construction already underway it is anticipated that work in the sea will begin in 2023 and that the first turbines will generate electricity in 2024.