A trainee engineer who worked on England and Wales’ largest onshore wind farm has scooped a top industry award at the CECA (Civil Engineering Contractors Association) Wales Awards 2017.
Jones Bros’ Tom Burbidge was named winner of the most promising trainee civil engineer (non-graduate) category at the annual dinner.
And it was a successful evening for Jones Bros’ youngsters with Geraint Lloyd and Conah Astbury runners up in the most promising trainee civil engineer (graduate) and most promising apprentice categories respectively.
Tom, from Pontardawe, near Neath, joined Jones Bros after the family firm were awarded the contract to build the 76-turbine wind farm in South Wales.
The 21-year-old originally applied for a plant operator apprenticeship but project manager Eryl Roberts decided Tom was more suited for a trainee engineer role.
And the youngster hasn’t looked back, securing a distinction in his HNC in Civil Engineering and taking on extra responsibilities on site.
He said: “I was thrilled to win the award – it was a complete shock. I just thought it was fantastic to be shortlisted so to win it is amazing.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Jones Bros and I have had brilliant support from colleagues and senior managers.
“The company is really supportive when it comes to developing its members of staff and I have experienced it first hand. For example, everyone was always accommodating when I had to spend time at the University of Wales Trinity St David as part of my studies.”
Geraint, 26, from Glyn Ceiriog, near Llangollen, joined Jones Bros two years ago and his regional manager Geraint Thomas was full of praise for the graduate.
“Geraint has proved himself to be a valuable addition to our team and always takes pride in his work and fully deserved his shortlist in the most promising trainee civil engineer (graduate) category,” he said.
Conah, 24, from Anglesey, is in the first year of his Jones Bros plant operator apprenticeship and has already made good impressions while working on major projects including the 38-hectare Clyde Extension wind farm in Scotland.
One of Conah’s mentors, Seb Skonieczka, a senior site foreman, said: “From the first day Conah proved himself with his hard work, and he is a very valuable worker.
“He is curious and keen to learn, and this allowed him to get a lot of experience and learn a lot. Conah became one of the strongest members of our team and could work well both on the ground and on the machines.”
Huw Jones, chairman of Jones Bros, said: “We are a family firm and like to support local youngsters who are willing to work hard to make something of themselves.
“Tom, Geraint and Conah have all done exceptionally well to be recognised for their efforts and commitment to developing their skills.
“All three are a credit to Jones Bros.”
Founded in the 1950s, Ruthin-based Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK has grown significantly in the last decade. Its areas of expertise include the construction of waste management facilities, highways, flood and marine defence and renewable energy projects.