A young trainee at leading civil engineering firm Jones Bros and a veteran engineer of more than 40 years there have been honoured at a recent awards ceremony that celebrates excellence in the industry.
Robert Geraint Fôn Williams, known as Geraint, was named ‘most promising apprentice of the year’ at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Wales Awards 2016 while Brian Roberts won the accolade of ‘lifetime contribution to the industry in Wales.’
The event, in Cardiff, proved to be a successful night for Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK as Geraint and Brian’s colleague Aaron Jones was named runner up in the ‘most promising trainee engineer of the year’ category.
Geraint, 21, who is now in the second year of a two-year apprenticeship with Jones Bros, joined the company as an apprentice plant operator in March 2015. He had completed A Levels at his local college and decided to opt for an apprenticeship rather than university.
He applied for the Jones Bros plant operator apprenticeship because he wanted to learn on the job and gain formal qualifications. “Combining a great company with my interest in working on plant showed the potential to be the perfect apprenticeship for me and it is great to be honoured with an award,” said Geraint.
Brian Roberts, Jones Bros longest-serving employee, was delighted to be named winner of CECA’s ‘lifetime contribution to the industry’ award. Brian began his career as a plant fitter in 1970 and is now retiring from the company. During his career he has also worked as a lorry driver, plant operator and foreman, before working his way up to senior positions including contracts manager and surfacing manager.
“It’s been fantastic to see Jones Bros grow into the firm it is today with all the expertise it has developed,” he said. “I’ve worked on some terrific projects, with a favourite being Anglesey racetrack. It’s lovely to win an award recognising my contribution to the industry, particularly as I retire.”
Aaron Jones, 24, named ‘most promising trainee civil engineer (none graduate),’ joined Jones Bros in February 2015 after working as a mechanical engineer at a family-run garage. Jones Bros senior engineer Gwyndaf Rees, who was impressed with Aaron’s attitude and commitment, has mentored him.
“After working as a mechanic for a number of years, I felt ready and in need of a new challenge,” explained Aaron. “My ambition and motivation to achieve more led me to enquire about a civil engineering apprenticeship and I’m thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to learn new and innovative skills and expand my knowledge at Jones Bros.”
CECA is the representative body for companies who work day-to-day to deliver, upgrade and maintain the country’s infrastructure.
With more than 300 members split across eight regions, CECA represents firms who together carry out an estimated 70-80 per cent of all civil engineering activity in the UK, in the key sectors of transport, energy, communications, waste and water.
Jones Bros’ managing director John Dielhof said: “It’s terrific to be recognised by CECA, as Jones Bros places a great deal of emphasis on the importance of apprenticeships and training, as well as ongoing nurturing and development of our staff.
“We are really pleased that Brian’s work and dedication to the industry have been recognised in this way it’s our hope that our latest apprentices will enjoy similarly successful careers in civil engineering.”
Founded in the 1950s and employing almost 350 people, Ruthin-based Jones Bros has grown rapidly in the last decade. It is currently working on contracts in various sectors including the construction of waste management facilities, highways, flood and marine defence and renewable energy projects around the UK.