GRADUATES of a leading civil engineering firm’s apprenticeship and trainee scheme have earned prestigious recognition from a national industry body.

Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK’s Matthew Manuel, Sion Hughes, and Ben Ellwood were shortlisted at the annual Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Wales awards in Cardiff.

Site engineer Matthew was named joint winner of most promising trainee civil engineer (non graduate) after impressing judges with his career progression.

Starting as a labourer with the Ruthin firm, he completed a plant operator apprenticeship before passing his level 4 Higher National Certificate (HNC) in civil engineering.

He is currently studying for a civil engineering degree at Liverpool John Moores University.

And Matthew, who is heavily involved with Jones Bros’ Clocaenog Forest wind farm project, was thrilled to scoop the award.

He said: “I’m really pleased with the recognition as it confirms my studying and work on site is paying off.

“Jones Bros has been fantastic throughout and supported my career aspirations at every stage.

“Working at Clocaenog is helping me further my development because I’m involved with construction, environmental and cost control aspects, in addition to supervising Hari Evans, a young trainee who has just started his HNC.”

Sion Hughes received a high commendation for the most promising apprentice thanks to passing his construction plant competence scheme (CPCS) tests with flying colours.

Achieving full marks in a number of theory tests, he is now a fully-fledged articulated dump truck driver on sites across the UK, and currently operates plant on one of the company’s wind farm projects.

Ben Ellwood narrowly missed out on becoming most promising trainee civil engineer (graduate) having made the transition from summer placement to full time employee with Jones Bros.

He is now working towards a master’s degree via day release at university, as well as chartered engineer status through Jones Bros’ ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) training programme.

Ruth James, director at Jones Bros, said: “Matthew, Sion and Ben have all done the company proud at the awards, and thoroughly deserve their recognition for making outstanding career progress.

“We focus on employing people with the right attitude and enthusiasm to help them build a lifelong career in civil engineering, with support on training and development available.

“Matthew, Sion and Ben have all grasped the opportunity with both hands and we are keen to speak to anyone interested in joining our award-winning apprenticeship programme.”