Jones Bros, which employs more than 300 civil engineering professionals and operatives, wants young people studying STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) at GCSE, A Level and degree level to look into opportunities within the industry.
While apprenticeships in engineering and manufacturing are becoming more popular with employers and young people, many industry experts believe construction still has a long way to go
Jones Bros is now urging young people at various stages of their education to seek advice on how to pursue a career in civil engineering-related disciplines. The company is also keen to encourage more women to see engineering as a viable and exciting career choice with recent research finding that for every eight men working in engineering, there is just one women.*
John Dielhof, managing director of Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK and a fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers, said: “We are working hard with schools and organisations like Careers Wales to highlight opportunities within the industry and show what a terrific career it can be.
“Encouraging the next generation of civil engineers, both men and women, and ensuring they have the skills, enthusiasm and commitment required is something we have been championing for many years.
“The jobs market is extremely competitive at the moment and there’s a real shortage of skilled people across a range of construction disciplines.
“Young people should look into the broad range of opportunities available, including apprenticeships, trainee positions and work placements alongside the more academic routes into the industry.”
As well as running a highly successful apprenticeship scheme, which had a record number of apprentices taken on this year, family-run Jones Bros also provides summer work placements, providing valuable experience to young people looking to forge a career in civil engineering.
John Dielhof also said that British businesses had a part to play in bringing more young people into the industry.
“It’s imperative that young people that have an interest in engineering, construction and associated professions are given the support and encouragement they need.
“Providing opportunities to learn and gain experience on site is extremely important, and helps young people have an understanding of the demands and challenges that face civil engineers.”
24-year-old Eliot Bidmead is an example of the sort of support Jones Bros is urging others in the industry to make available to young people.
Elliot, from Wrexham, joined Jones Bros as a trainee in 2009, and over the last six years has gained a vast amount of experience working for the company while completing his studies.
Now working towards a masters degree in civil engineering, Elliot is urging other young people with a passion for construction to look into the practical support and assistance available.
“My dad works in construction and he inspired me to get into civil engineering, but looking back I never had the guidance in school or college that I needed.
“It was really the first interview I had at Jones Bros that made me realise this is what I want to do.
“I think other young people looking at a career in civil engineering or construction should consider a more vocational approach, rather than just going straight on to study.
“I’m lucky to have had the experience that I have had to date. On my course there’s ten part-time students like me already working with a company, and the rest are all full time students straight from school. The ten of us have all got first hand experience in the industry, while the others haven’t set foot on a building site, which is a real advantage.”
Founded in the 1950s and employing almost 300 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.
* Research carried out by Reed.co.uk