Seven young apprentices have begun training on an innovative new apprenticeship programme launched by leading civil engineering company Jones Bros.
The trainees are the first to be recruited on to the company’s general construction operations apprenticeship scheme – the first of its kind for the Ruthin-based firm.
They will bolster the number of workers at the firm trained in road infrastructure skills such as drainage, kerbing and manhole construction.
To prepare for the new course, Jones Bros has upgraded its in-house training centre to include an area for excavating and locating underground services, and provision for working on different road surfaces.
Jones Bros’ training manager Richard Owen said: “It’s great to finally welcome our first batch of groundworks apprentices to site.
“They will be learning a number of groundworks skills that will reinforce our workforce skills base including constructing drainage, kerb laying, surfacing and leveling.”
The apprentices will be with Jones Bros until mid-March next year, completing more than 500 hours of guided learning. They will then each go out to one of Jones Bros’ UK construction sites to learn valuable skills, before returning to the firm’s headquarters in Ruthin for two weeks at the end of the summer.
“I’ve been in training for more than 25 years and I’ve never seen a programme like this,” continued Richard. “When we interview the candidates, it’s not just for an apprenticeship, but for a job as well. They’re really getting two chances with us – firstly to gain new skills, and then to get a job afterwards, which you just don’t get with other apprenticeship programmes.”
The new apprentices beginning their training include someone who gave up their job at Aldi supermarket and a worker on a North Wales narrow gauge railway.
In this expansion of the company’s award-winning apprenticeship scheme, trainees will also learn about construction site health, safety and welfare and putting civil engineering technology into practice.
Highways and infrastructure construction is an area of expertise for Jones Bros, which is working on the A487 Caernarfon to Bontnewydd Bypass in a joint venture with Balfour Beatty.
Founded in the 1950s, Jones Bros employs approximately 350 people. It operates across the UK in sectors including construction of waste management facilities, highways and renewable energy projects such as wind farms.