A young civil engineer who began his career by gaining valuable work experience on summer placements with Jones Bros is now heading up a multi-million pound wind farm project.
Rhydian Hafal is currently project managing the infrastructure for the 17-turbine Garreg Lwyd Hill wind farm in Powys, mid Wales, on behalf of client RES.
The 28-year-old, who has also been involved in the design stage of the project, is now keen to highlight how varied and rewarding civil engineering can be and is urging young people to consider it as a career.
“Civil engineering is exciting and varied and seeing the end result of your work is really rewarding,’ he said. “During my time at Jones Bros I’ve worked on a wide range of projects, from wind farms and highways to construction of waste management facilities and I can’t say I prefer one more the other because they’re all interesting.”
Rhydian’s comments come as the Government points out that the UK needs more than one million new engineers and technicians in the future to prevent productivity from being hampered. Recruiters, who say engineering roles are often the hardest to fill, share these concerns.
Rhydian, from Ruthin, North Wales got his first taste of civil engineering working on a summer placement at Jones Bros while studying for a degree in civil engineering at Cardiff University.
“I did my first work experience with Jones Bros at the end of my second year of my degree course,” he said. “I started work on a landfill site and loved it from the word go. I picked everything up quickly and it convinced me that I had made the right decision in choosing civil engineering.
“When I went back to college in the September some of my fellow students had also undertaken work experience but most of that had been in design consultancies where they had been in an office rather than at the sharp end like I had.”
Rhydian graduated in 2010 and underwent further placements with Jones Bros, before taking time out to travel. He took up permanent employment with the company in June 2011 and his progression has been rapid since then.
He gained experience on a wide variety of projects including working as the site agent for Jones Bros on a £7m contract to construct an access road that will transport waste to a new multi-million pound Energy from Waste (EfW) plant in Buckinghamshire.
The project, close to the main A41, involved constructing a four and a half kilometer road along a former railway track, incorporating three road bridges across it.
Geraint Thomas, Jones Bros’ regional manager for the southern region, said: “Rhydian first came to us as a teenage student and just eight years later, he is leading on contracts worth millions of pounds. He is on the career ladder and I expect he will achieve a great deal.
“We’ve been taking students on summer placement for a number of years now as we believe it is important to provide young people with opportunities to help them progress in the industry in the future. Rhydian is proof of this.”
Rhydian added: “I would definitely recommend doing summer work placements as it can help you be certain you are following the right career path and gives you loads of great experience.
“The hours are long and it’s not always the easiest of jobs but if you are up for a challenge and are willing to work hard then civil engineering is a really good career. I believe Jones Bros is a great company to work for and to progress in.”