Jones Bros launches work experience week to address looming skills shortage9th Aug 2016

Five school pupils who have set their sights on a career in civil engineering and construction enjoyed a behind-the-scenes look at the sector, thanks to leading firm Jones Bros.

The pupils, all from North Wales schools, took part in a work experience week – the first to be run by the award-winning civil engineering company.

The initiative is part of a major drive by Jones Bros to attract enthusiastic, motivated people to the company and to increase young people’s knowledge of the construction industry and the opportunities available.

Asha Glenn of Jones Bros said: “We’ve received a lot of interest from young people interested in work experience after a careers event held recently.

“Because some schools no longer organise work experience we thought we’d run our own to give the school pupils who had approached us a real insight into the industry.”

As well as visiting a wind farm site, the teenagers got to talk with apprentices and staff from different departments. They also tried out a plant simulator, as well as trying their hand at building and deconstructing a 12m cable-stayed model bridge.

One of the students, Gruffudd McKee, said the experience had made up his mind that civil engineering is a path he wants to follow.

Gruffudd, 17, who is studying for A Levels in maths, chemistry and ICT, at Ysgol Brynhyfryd in Ruthin, said: “Before coming here I was torn between studying accounting and finance at university and civil engineering. This experience convinced me that civil engineering is for me.

“The visit to the wind farm site was very good and I think the sectors that Jones Bros work in, like renewables, are really exciting. I would like to study at Swansea University as I’ve visited and thought it was very good.”

Fellow Ysgol Brynhyfryd pupil Gwyion Glyn, 16, who is awaiting his GCSE results, also enjoyed his work experience with Jones Bros and now hopes to join a pathways to construction college course.

“It’s been a very good week, I’ve really enjoyed it and I’m very impressed with Jones Bros and the way they’ve really looked after us,” he said.

Also taking part in the work experience week were Reece Davies, 16 from Wrexham and Carwyn Roberts, 17, who is studying for A Levels in maths, physics and chemistry at Ysgol Glan Clwyd in St Asaph.

Carwyn said: “I’ve really enjoyed the week, is has been really interesting and I’m fairly sure I’d like to pursue a career in civil engineering.”

The idea for the special week came after students showed an interest in the company and the industry during a recent careers day.

Asha Glenn continued: “One of our aims was to get across the wide range of opportunities that are available at Jones Bros, not just for university students who we have traditionally had on work experience, but young people studying for their GCSEs and A-Levels who may be considering what they want to do in the future.

“We put together a varied and structured week and the participants seem to have really enjoyed it, particularly developing a project to put into practice what they have learned.”

Founded in the 1950s and employing approximately 350 people, Jones Bros has grown rapidly 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.