Summer placement sparks Gruffydd’s passion and leads to award win6th Nov 2023

Going from a summer placement to national award winner inside six years suggests Gruffydd Rowlands’ career is on the right track.

The Jones Bros senior project civil engineer lifted the most promising trainee civil engineering graduate honour at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Wales Awards.

The 26-year-old was presented with his title at the Hilton Hotel by former England rugby union ace Martin Bayfield as young people across the sector were formally recognised at the annual event in Cardiff.

A victorious Gruffydd said: “It was the cherry on the top for a great evening.

“Finding out I was nominated was special, but to come home with the award made it a night to remember.”

Two successful summer placements with Jones Bros saw Gruffydd’s work on multi-million-pound schemes at Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station and Salt Island at Holyhead Port noticed by members of the team.

The Ruthin-headquartered firm supported the youngster’s final years of study, which allowed him to graduate from the University of Liverpool with a master’s in civil engineering.

Joining the company permanently in September 2019, Gruffydd started out on the £139 million Caernarfon and Bontnewydd bypass, which is just 10 minutes from his home in Waunfawr.

He said: “I think it is wonderful that the company provides these types of placements. Not only does it give you the chance to learn but also offers a true insight into the industry as you are working on major schemes.”

Jones Bros contracts director Hefin Lloyd-Davies has overseen Gruffydd’s progression from graduate to senior project civil engineer.

He said: “From the moment project manager Emlyn Roberts brought Gruffydd to our attention in 2017, and after meeting him for the first time, it became apparent that we would have to give him the opportunity to progress.

“Having watched him over the last few years, promotion is just reward for his hard work and dedication.

“He is quickly becoming a key part of the Jones Bros team and it is a pleasure to work with him.”

As well as developing his engineering skills whilst working on sites all over North Wales, Gruffydd has been involved with in-house mentoring for trainee engineers starting with the company.

Gruffydd’s passion for civil engineering was further underlined when he was invited to be a part of the CECA Wales Foundation Group.

He and four other graduates from different Welsh civil engineering companies have been tasked with promoting the industry across the country to potential employees of the future.

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.

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.