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Business Denbighshire North Wales

Civil engineering firm on the recruitment drive for apprentice plant operators

A Jones Bros employee operating plant equipment out on the Dogger Bank project, which will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Images Copyright ©Darren Casey DCimaging

A LEADING North Wales civil engineering company is recruiting up to 30 apprentices to start in early 2022, as it hosts its first careers day since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK, which works on projects across the UK, is looking to bring in apprentice plant operators and is keen to hear from anyone interested, from recent school leavers to those considering career changes.

The Ruthin-headquartered firm will be opening the doors of its purpose-built training site in Denbigh on Saturday 27 November for the open day, with two sessions, starting at 10am and 12pm respectively, each running for two hours. Lunch is provided.

The event will offer the chance to speak to trainers as well as current and recent apprentices about topics such as career progression and what it’s like on site. Attendees will also have the opportunity to view some of the machinery they will learn to operate.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone aged 17 and over with a full driving licence. Jones Bros will also arrange local accommodation for those travelling further for the initial training period.

Garmon Hafal, training manager at Jones Bros, which has recruited more than 100 apprentices in the last three years, said: “More than 90 per cent complete the apprenticeship and 85 per cent choose to stay with us once qualified, which illustrates our scheme’s success.

“We are passionate about giving young people skills for life as well as genuine career opportunities.

“In addition to spending time at our training centre, which is one of the best for construction apprentices, learners spend a significant period out on live sites. We are currently working on large infrastructure projects including highways, renewable energy and waste management across the UK.”

Cai Evans, from Tremeirchion, Denbighshire, completed his apprenticeship this month.

Cai, 19, who has most recently been working on the Colomendy Industrial Estate, said: “I’ve just had my final observations, where someone assesses what you do over the course of your work, for safety and competence, so I can qualify for operating plant equipment.

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“The whole process has flown by, and I’ve learned so much and worked on projects around the UK. It feels like yesterday I was sitting in the interview talking with Garmon about the different careers that the company offers.

“There’s so much opportunity to progress. You can go further down the plant route and on to supervisor roles, or there’s the engineering path, which involves more project management, but either way there is so much you can learn.”

More than 40 percent of Jones Bros’ existing site operatives started as apprentices. The emphasis on employing plant operators directly also leads to the family-owned civil engineering contractor going above and beyond the standards required by apprenticeships.

Garmon added: “By the end of the course, graduates can operate six to eight different machines, as opposed to the minimum of three, as well as secure additional qualifications such as first aid.

“Once you’ve completed that initial four to eight week educational period in Denbigh, you’ll be learning on the job out on live sites and will move on to a higher rate of pay. We also provide an additional lodging allowance when you’re working away.

“We have fresh intakes every three months, so if for example you don’t have your driving license yet, I would encourage you to come along.”

For more information, visit www.jones-bros.com