Innovative drama-led training sees Jones Bros up for arts award17th Jan 2023

Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK has been shortlisted for an arts and business award for integrating drama with employee development training, an innovative and forward-thinking activity for the sector.

The company was nominated for the arts, business & employees category at the 2023 Arts & Business (A&B) Cymru awards, in recognition of its collaboration with Role Plays for Training (RPfT).

A&B Cymru promotes and develops mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts, to further strengthen both sides, using bespoke workshops to cater to any sector.

RPfT uses drama-based learning techniques to explore behaviours, change mindsets and enhance employee relationships, working with professional business actors to deliver the coaching workshops.

Jones Bros worked with RPfT to create a bespoke arts-based training programme for 25 team members, including site managers and selected foremen.

The aim was to develop their communication skills and confidence in relaying key information within their teams by using drama as a tool to empower and improve presentation skills.

The interactive training sessions, held across three days, were designed following consultations with representatives from Jones Bros to ensure the topics reflected the company’s working environment.

Tony Murphy, head of HR & business management systems at Jones Bros, said: “Our partnership with RPfT presented both an alternative and positive training route for the team, and we’re thrilled to be shortlisted for an Arts & Business Cymru award.

“Although it’s the type of training that might not usually be associated with the civil engineering sector, key topics were covered such as dealing with difficult health and safety conversations and presentation skills for on-site daily briefings.

“The team had plenty of positive feedback and welcomed the opportunity to boost their communication and how to confidently navigate relationships at work.”

The A&B Cymru awards returns for its first in-person ceremony on Thursday, 23 March after a three-year hiatus during the pandemic, with the event being held at The Coal Exchange in Cardiff Bay.

Becky Stoddard, head of operations at RPfT, said: “It was a great pleasure for us to work with a forward-thinking company like Jones Bros.

“Drama-based training was a completely new concept to all the participants, but they showed an enlightened and open attitude towards this method and really threw themselves into the sessions.

“Participants told us that after the training they felt able to engage in better, fairer, and more constructive conversations with the people they manage.

“In fact, one participant, who had declared a definite dislike for training courses, even commented on how much they had enjoyed the training and hoped it would be rolled out across the business!”

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 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.