Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK has helped inspire the future generation at Prestatyn High’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) event, Big Bang at School.
The occasion was organised by non-profit educational charity Engineering Education Scheme Wales (EESW) as part of its STEM Cymru campaign, which features hands-on and engaging activities and career motivation.
Around 90 year 10 pupils were treated to a practical workshop that involved making wind turbines and programming micro:bits – pocket-sized computers.
The afternoon session focused on a talk from Jones Bros bid manager Gemma Roebuck, who spoke about the Ruthin-headquartered firm and the career opportunities available in the sector.
Gemma, who has a master’s degree in civil engineering, said: “It was fantastic to raise awareness of the work we do at Jones Bros with youngsters, including girls, who are studying engineering or technology-based subjects.
“There was also the chance to highlight the varied ways in which they can enjoy a career in civil engineering. It is not a case of having to go to university.
“It’s important to stress that it is never too late to change your mind on what path you want to go down. For example, I wanted to be a psychologist when I was their age!”
After completing her studies, Gemma started out as an engineer, before progressing to site agent, project manager, and now bid manager, working on proposals for schemes ranging from £15m to £150m in value.
She added: “I started in civil engineering when I was 18 and my career has offered plenty of diversity in terms of work, even in four years at Jones Bros.
“It has been a wonderful decade in the sector and inspiring pupils to consider civil engineering is something I will always be passionate about.”
Established in the 1950s, Jones Bros owns one of the largest plant fleets in the UK and employs approximately 500 people.
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.