A chance meeting in a supermarket set an ambitious Balintore teenager on a path to a career in civil engineering.
Dylan Morrison was looking for opportunities in engineering and was about to begin a college course when he bumped into his friend’s dad while working in Tesco.
Two years on Dylan Morrison is playing an important role in the construction of one of Europe’s largest wind farms and is set to embark on a civil engineering degree later this year.
Dylan, now 21, is completing an apprenticeship with Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK as it constructs a 54 turbine extension to the already existing 152-turbine Clyde wind farm, owned by SSE, Greencoat UK Wind and GLIL.
As part of his training, Dylan has learned to operate a cutting edge batching plant that supplies quality-controlled concrete to the construction of the wind farm.
Dylan, who attended Tain Royal Academy, said: “I had always been interested in engineering and happened to see my friend’s dad while I was working in Tesco. He was working for Jones Bros and told me to apply to them.
“I did and got a plant operator apprenticeship which has trained me in operating a range of plant including excavators and dumpers.
“After a year and a half I was asked if I’d like to learn how to operate the batching plant, which was brilliant. There are very few people who can operate it and there needs to be more than one qualified operator in case that person is on holiday or is needed elsewhere.
“I’m really enjoying it and there’s a great team here who are all really helpful.”
Dylan’s parents Julie and Gary, brothers Reece, 18, Jake, 12 and Georgia, five, are all very proud of his achievements. “They are all really pleased that I’m on the path to a great career and I get a good welcome when I go home, especially from Georgia,” he added.
Dylan will begin studying for a degree in civil engineering in November on a block release course in Inverness, involving him spending some time in the classroom and the rest out on site.
“I’m looking forward to getting started and eventually qualifying as a civil engineer,” he said.
Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK is delivering balance of plant as part of a joint venture with the project’s civil contractor Balfour Beatty on behalf of SSE, one of the UK’s largest energy companies.
Investment in the area includes more than £20m of long-term support for community projects from the community benefit fund.
Clyde Extension could contribute as much as £121m to the Scottish economy during the construction phase and is expected, on average, to support around 500 jobs in Scotland through supply chain contracts.
Jones Bros offers apprenticeships in general construction and operating plant machinery with progression to supervisor, foreman, works manager and senior construction manager. A scheme for trainee engineers involves day release at college and learning on site in the holidays. There are also training programmes for graduates.
Founded in the 1950s, the family firm has grown significantly in the last decade. Its areas of expertise include the construction of waste management facilities, highways, flood and marine defence and renewable energy projects.
To find out more visit www.jones-bros.com, or like its Facebook page by searching for “Jones Bros Careers.”