Jones Bros lends its expertise to key renewable energy conference15th Mar 2024

Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK has been helping shape the future of marine renewable energy.

Tony Murphy, head of business management systems and support, was part of an expert panel at the annual Marine Energy Wales conference which discussed securing a future Welsh workforce to deliver and maintain the pipeline of renewable projects in across the UK.

The Ruthin-headquartered civil engineering firm employs around 500 staff and completed tidal energy scheme Morlais in late 2023.

As part of the main contract worth £24.6 million on the Anglesey project, led by Menter Môn Morlais Ltd, Jones Bros built the onshore infrastructure, which included constructing the landfall substation on Holy Island as well as the cabling works which will connect it to the National Grid.

The conference is an essential gathering point where industry experts, researchers, and enthusiasts come together to deliberate on the pressing issues and opportunities within the marine energy sector.

Tony said: “It was fantastic to be part of the group invited to talk about the employment landscape in Wales and how that will impact future renewable energy developments and projects.

“The main principle of moving forward is to agree what key skills are needed within the renewable energy and civils sector and use this to guide the development of training courses at all levels of the industry. This will clearly identify if current schemes are fit for purpose.

“If the right analysis is carried out and the training is developed around that analysis, then you can collaborate across the UK and industry with joined-up thinking. This is important in what is a fast-moving technological environment.

“It’s not about overtraining either, but about putting the building blocks in place for people to learn at the correct level and at the right time to develop during a long career in the industry.

“I get lots of questions about working in civil engineering when visiting schools and colleges, and I always say the same thing – there is a whole plethora and range of job opportunities.

“It is not just about being on site as an engineer, but about the team around them, including HR, payroll, training roles, marketing, PR, quantity surveying, finance, commercial, and so on. If you are interested in protecting habitats and rare species, there are roles in ecology, for example.

“There is a wide variety of employment prospects on offer, and it is repeatedly about highlighting that broad spectrum to people.”

Attending the conference also provided the chance to:

  • Connect with key players in the sector
  • Raise their profile with policy and political decision-makers
  • Identify funding and investment opportunities
  • Show off latest products and services
  • Learn about new insights and trends

Tony added: “It is all about getting the right people involved, and it was wonderful to hear the insights of those who attended the conference.”

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 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.