Jones Bros and Careers Wales shine light on civil engineering in high schools25th Aug 2022

Jones Bros and Careers Wales have joined forces and reached out to high schools throughout the country in a bid to shine a light on careers in civil engineering.

The Ruthin-headquartered civil engineering company is keen to raise awareness of the opportunities that are available in the sector, highlighting the range of roles on offer and opportunities to travel throughout the UK.

One of the main highlights of the outreach in the schools was that girls were just as interested as boys, however, in some cases, they had never considered the industry before.

An educational and entertaining video, shot in the style of video game Fortnite, was shared of Clocaenog Forest Wind Farm, a project on which Jones Bros was the principal contractor. The wind farm, located near Denbigh, consists of 27 turbines that can provide renewable electricity equivalent to the needs of 63,800 homes.

The film was created by year five and six pupils from Ysgol Betws Gwerful Goch, Ysgol Bro Elwern and Ysgol Carreg Emlyn with film maker, Rob Spaull. Inspired by Jones Bros, the company funded the video in partnership with Arts and Business Cymru CultureStep to demonstrate what it takes to work on a wind farm site and the multiple areas of expertise required.

Further activity included maths tests for year 10 pupils, offering a taster of the type of maths that is used regularly at Jones Bros. Equivalent to GCSE level, they were tested on working out salary and lodging payments.

Amy Dutton, apprentice officer at Jones Bros, said: “Increased education and awareness of alternative career routes are so important for showing school pupils that they have other options beyond university.

“As part of our outreach with Careers Wales, we ran mock interviews which were a first for a lot of people and we were thrilled to be a part of it.

“We’ve met some keen budding apprentices during our school visits as well as sixth form students, who are waiting to pass their driving tests, which they hope will stand them in good stead for applying for an apprenticeship.

“Young people make up our future workforce and that’s why it’s vital that they’re supported as they take their first steps on the career ladder.”

Lisa Connolly, business engagement advisor at Careers Wales, added: “It’s a pleasure working with the apprentice team at Jones Bros to coordinate the school visits.

“This type of activity is exactly what’s needed to engage with school pupils in Wales, to encourage them to explore other avenues for their careers.

“It’s so much more inspiring for young people to hear first-hand from businesses about what it’s like to work in their industries. Jones Bros has been informative and highlighted specific roles that have either never been considered before or were totally new.”

Jones Bros 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.

The company has recruited more than 100 apprentices during the past three years and is currently running interviews for apprenticeship positions, with three groups of apprentices appointed so far this year.

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.