Trainee civil engineer hones skills on major wind farm development4th Apr 2016

A young trainee civil engineer from South Lanarkshire is developing his skills on one of Scotland’s largest wind farm developments after being given the opportunity by leading renewables company Jones Bros.

Alistair Dow, 24, is working as a trainee site engineer at the 54-turbine Clyde wind farm extension, part of an 80-strong workforce at the site located between Biggar, Abington and Moffat.

Alistair, from Symington, is putting the skills learned on his HNC (higher national certificate) in civil engineering into practice, working as a setting out engineer, preparing the ground for the site tracks and crane pads.

Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK is delivering balance of plant as part of a joint venture with the project’s civil contractor Balfour Beatty on behalf of the client SSE, one of the UK’s biggest power generators.

Alistair, who previously worked at open cast mining sites in Scotland, said: “It’s terrific to be given this opportunity by Jones Bros and I’m really enjoying it.

“I’ve been interested in civil engineering since school as I always had a desire to understand how things are built and how they work.

“I worked in mining straight from school and undertook my HNC during that time. I heard about the opportunities at Jones Bros and decided to apply as the future of wind farms and renewables in general is a lot more promising than what I was previously doing.

“I’m learning a lot and I really enjoy the combination of being outside for part of the day and spending time in the office.

“In this job you meet lots of different people and its very satisfying seeing how a site develops and comes together,” he said.

More than 16km of site tracks have now been constructed, including the majority of the site’s main tracks. A total of 32km of track will be needed to allow heavy plant machinery to travel across the site.

The Clyde Extension could contribute as much as £121m to the Scottish economy during the construction phase and is expected, on average, to support around 500 jobs in Scotland through supply chain contracts. SSE’s investment in the area includes more than £20m of long-term support for community projects from the community benefit fund.

Jones Bros will also soon begin recruiting apprentices for the project. There are currently three Scottish plant operative apprentices working on site, as well as Alistair, and a number of labourers recruited from the surrounding area.

Founded in the 1950s and employing 350 people, Jones Bros has grown significantly in the last decade. It is currently working on contracts including the construction of waste management facilities, highways, flood and marine defence, and renewable energy projects around the UK.