Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK has joined forces with Coleg Menai to boost the skills and qualifications of construction workers in the region.
The Ruthin-based family firm will work closely with the college to enhance the offering of heavy plant training courses in North West Wales to local construction and engineering companies.
The partnership, which will also relaunch the heavy plant training centre at Llangefni, was announced at the Anglesey Show.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed between Jones Bros and Coleg Menai will enable the centre to offer assessment and testing, training, NVQ assessment, and apprenticeships. Courses will include excavator, dumper truck, telescopic handler and ride-on-roller.
Dafydd Evans, chief executive officer at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, said: “Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK is one of the UK’s leading contractors and as such they have a wealth of experience. We’re delighted to be able to work with them on this project.
“The company is already a provider of heavy plant training, and by joining forces we hope to take our heavy plant provision to the next level.
“Large scale infrastructure projects linked to Ynys Ynni, such as Wylfa Newydd, Orthios and Minesto will require a large number of appropriately qualified construction operatives. We hope by expanding the range of heavy plant courses available we can play an important role in ensuring that local people and companies benefit from these projects.”
Charlie Tasker, head of construction at Horizon Nuclear Power added: “Having facilitated the involvement of Hitachi Construction Machinery with the Heavy Plant Training Centre a few years ago, we’re delighted to see this agreement being signed today.
“Bringing in an extremely experienced contractor to assist in developing the centre will be hugely beneficial in the development and provision of first-class training courses for local people which, I’m sure, will place the local workforce on the front foot for employment with the Wylfa Newydd Project once we’re ready to start construction.”
Huw Jones, chairman of Jones Bros, said: “We at Jones Bros are looking forward to working with Coleg Menai. We have a strong reputation of delivering quality training in all aspects of civil engineering from our established accredited training centre in Ruthin.
“This collaboration with Coleg Menai means we can share our experience and together provide greater opportunities for North Wales people to obtain the necessary skills enabling them to maximise the employment opportunities coming from the proposed large scale infrastructure investment in the area.
“Jones Bros, together in a joint venture with Balfour Beatty, are the contractor for the Caernarfon and Bontnewydd bypass. This project will provide work for 200 to 300 people over three years and we hope work will start in early 2018.
“This opportunity along with site preparation works at Wylfa Newydd means that we will be doubling our apprentice intake in the next year to 60.”
Coleg Menai expects to be able to start offering training at the new Heavy Plant Training Centre from autumn 2017. Courses will be available through the established SEE Project, apprenticeships, and the DWP for eligible individuals.
Grŵp Llandrillo Menai (the College Group comprising Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Coleg Menai) offers a range of qualifications, including degrees, in a wide number of subjects.
Founded in the 1950s and employing almost 350 people, Jones Bros has grown significantly in the last decade. It is currently working on contracts in various sectors including the construction of waste management facilities, highways, flood and marine defence and renewable energy projects around the UK.