Two of Jones Bros’ promising young recruits have been recognised at an awards ceremony that celebrates excellence in the civil engineering industry.
Tom Burbidge and Jonathan Bird have been honoured at the CECA Wales Awards 2015 after impressing since joining the company less than 12 months ago.
Tom and Jonathan, who are both working on the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm in South Wales, were respectively nominated in the Most Promising Trainee Civil Engineer and Most Promising Apprentice categories. Joint venture partners Jones Bros and Balfour Beatty are currently on site at Pen y Cymoedd delivering infrastructure on behalf of wind farm developer Vattenfall.
Jonathan was named runner-up in his category, while Tom was highly commended by the judging panel.
Jonathan, 22, has impressed with his diligence and professionalism during his first year with Jones Bros, having cut short a holiday to fly back to the UK to attend the initial interview for an apprentice plant operator position.
His success is all the more remarkable considering the difficult start he had to his apprenticeship, having lost both his mother and father within the space of a few months before starting.
He said: “Getting a place on the apprenticeship kept me in shape as it was a bad time in my life.
“When the trainer told me the list of machines we’d get trained and tested on, I didn’t even know what some of them were! I never thought when I started that I’d be representing the company for such an important award.”
Jones Bros’ senior trainer Huw Isaac Williams said: “His enthusiasm and attitude were irresistible, and we had to give him an opportunity. We’re glad that we did, as Jonathan has turned out to be an outstanding apprentice with a mature attitude beyond his year.
“For example, the practical dozer test is an intense exam, and the other lads are glad to have a rest straight after it. Not Jonathan though, who went straight back out to the test area to tidy it up and repair the ground to make it easier for the next apprentice in his test.”
His efforts have also been noticed by Jones Bros’ managing director Huw Jones, who said: “I visit the Pen y Cymoedd wind farm project regularly, and it’s good to hear about the apprentices and Jonathan in particular.
“He has clearly impressed everyone here with his attitude, commitment, progress and potential. If he carried on like this, he is sure to have a career at Jones Bros for as long as he wants.”
Trainee civil engineer Tom, 19, who lives just 30 minutes away from the 76-turbine development, has in 12 months gone from being an apprentice hopeful to a valued member of the team at the largest onshore wind farm in England and Wales.
He also originally applied for an apprentice plant operator position with Jones Bros. However, after impressing in his interview and displaying an interest in becoming a civil engineer, he was encouraged to take up a trainee engineer position with the Ruthin-based company instead.
Since joining in April 2014, Tom has impressed with his work on the Pen y Cymoedd project, which includes developing a defect monitoring procedure that has been adopted on other Jones Bros projects.
His development was noticed by Jones Bros’ contracts director John Dielhof, who said: “Tom’s excellent progress and ability to quickly learn has been clearly demonstrated by his improvement over the past year.
“He has already become a key member of the engineering team, and his self checking and motivation provides confidence and reassurance to the senior project management team, that any work undertaken by him is done thoroughly and right first time.”
Founded in the 1950s, Jones Bros employs approximately 300 people. It operates across the UK in sectors including construction of waste management facilities, highways and renewable energy projects such as wind farms.