A higher apprentice from Oswestry is taking his next step on the career ladder as part of an innovative collaboration between a civil engineering firm and a college.
North Wales-headquartered Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK and Wrexham-based 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 is William Howell, who is one of the latest 10-strong group to enrol on the scheme.
Whilst studying a construction and the built environment level three BTEC at Coleg Cambria, the Jones Bros apprenticeship scheme caught William’s eye.
He said: “I’d noticed plenty of the vans and the lecturers had told me about the course and the company, so I wanted to see what it was like for myself.
“It’s a case of so far, so good. There is plenty of support and the programme seems impressive.”
William, 18, is scheduled to head out onsite to Sennybridge, Powys, in March as the course switches from theory to practical.
He added: “I can’t wait to get hands-on because I am more of an outdoor person, and I want to meet new people.”
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.”