Quantity surveyor Lisa Tudor and regional manager Hefin Lloyd Davies talked to Years 5 and 6 pupils at Ysgol OM Edwards, in Llanuwchllyn near Bala.
The Welsh Government-designated STEM school invited them in to help inform its pupils of the wide range of job and career possibilities within a leading and local civil engineering contracting firm.
Lisa and Hefin used photos and videos to illustrate the opportunities, by talking about Jones Bros projects including the construction of the Porthmadog By-pass; coastal defences at Tywyn, Meirionydd; Pen-y-Cymoedd wind farm in South Wales; and Pwllheli Marina.
Lisa said: “The children were working on a project about bridges, so we made sure to include examples of the bridges we had built.
“There were lots of questions from the children, the first one of which was to ask how much money we make. I think there are a few budding entrepreneurs in that class!”
She added that it was especially rewarding to use her experience to explain to girls that there were plenty of career paths in a sector traditionally associated with a male workforce.
“We helped them understand that the industry provides an interesting and rewarding career for both men and women.” she said.
Lisa joined Jones Bros in 2007 after graduating with a degree in mathematics. The company sponsored her to study for a master’s degree in quantity surveying, then to complete her professional qualifications to become a chartered quantity surveyor.
Hefin joined the firm more than 20 years ago as a junior civil engineer. He has been promoted through successive positions including site agent and contracts manager and now heads up the company’s operations in North Wales and the North West of England.
Dilys Ellis-Jones, head teacher, said: “This was a great opportunity for the pupils to talk and listen to Hefin and Lisa about their work and role at Jones Bros.
“The pupils enjoyed looking at all the recent developments that Jones Bros have been a part of, especially the work that Lisa has been doing as part of her role with the company. This was a great encouragement for girls to consider civil engineering and quantity surveying.
“We also had the Institute of Civil Engineers’ ‘Bridges to School’ project here, sponsored by Jones Bros. This was a great opportunity for the pupils to actually construct an aluminium bridge outside. We are always looking for different opportunities to develop and bring to life the children’s STEM work and this afternoon with Hefin and Lisa ticked all the boxes. Thank you for a great presentation.”
From its foundations on the family farm in Ruthin in the 1950s, Jones Bros has grown to become one of the UK’s leading civil engineering contractors, employing 350 people.
In addition to roles such as site operative, plant operative and civil engineer, the company also employs HR, finance and administration staff.
A number of its present-day senior employees started as trainees, including as apprentices. The firm has a strong tradition of continued staff development, paying for course fees and allowing time off for day release and other external training, to enhance the skills of their staff and enable them to progress in their careers.
Unusually within the industry, Jones Bros pays apprentices a competitive wage while they undergo training, and are able to offer all apprentices a permanent job after they qualify.