A civil engineering firm has reinforced its commitment to an innovative collaboration with a college by welcoming a new intake of 10 higher apprentices.
Ruthin-headquartered Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK and Coleg Cambria have changed the status quo for apprenticeships since launching the new-look course in 2018.
Seven of the first intake of civil engineers have already graduated from the four-year course and are now working on major projects across the UK for Jones Bros, including in renewables, highways, and waste management.
Looking to follow in their footsteps are Huw Wilyman, Toby Laurie, Llion Pritchard, Harley Durak, Jacob Evans, and Twm Tudor, who hail from North Wales, Scottish duo Alex Trickey and Freddie Brown, Durham’s Joseph Boucher, and Shropshire’s William Howell.
Jacob, 20, who hails from Pandy in Wrexham, just three miles from the college, is relishing being part of the course.
On what appealed to him about the scheme, he said: “I was interested in civil engineering, and all aspects of engineering.
“Civil engineering sticks out to me as it’s a welcome mixture of indoor and outdoor work and the structures that are built.
“I’m now looking forward to being out onsite and getting stuck into work.”
Classmate, Alex, has had a little more travelling to do as he came to Jones Bros from Elvanfoot, South Lanarkshire, in Scotland.
The 22-year-old, who is staying in Penycae, explained how he arrived in North Wales, saying: “My family friend, Gail Coulter, works for Jones Bros, and she told me about the apprenticeship.
“The opportunities to progress really appealed to me with a lot of the senior people in the company coming from either the apprenticeship scheme or a trainee role.
“There’s also a lot of help, and people care, which is great as it shows that you matter and that your support network wants you to succeed.”
Alex will head to Benbrack Wind Farm in Dalmellington and Carsphairn on the A713 in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, with Jacob gaining onsite experience in Llangurig, Powys.
Tony Murphy, head of HR and business management systems for Jones Bros, said: “It’s wonderful to welcome the latest group to the higher apprenticeship scheme.
“We have recently seen seven of the first intake graduate and progress to working on major projects across the UK, and we can’t wait to watch this group of talented individuals flourish with the company.”
Coleg Cambria tutor, Matthew Owen, who is now leading the fifth cohort of Jones Bros higher apprentices since the start of the collaboration, said: “The students have really thrived this year, they are very strong, and there is plenty of talent, as always.
“They are from a mixed background and all over the country, but they’ve come together. It’s good to hear the stories of home and to see how supportive they are of each other.
“We have apprentices who have studied at the college previously who can help with software and databases, and then once they get their future assignments, they can help with directions to whichever projects they will be working on and tell them about digs, so it’s a good resource of communication.”