A Graduate trainee with Ruthin-based civil engineering company Jones Bros has won a prestigious industry award.
Elliot Bidmead, 29, from Ruthin, was named most promising trainee engineer (graduate) by The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Wales.
CECA Wales represents 60 of Wales’ largest and smallest civil engineering contracting businesses with a cumulative annual turnover in excess of £1bn and employing more than 6,000 people.
The organisation had been due to hold a ceremony to reveal the award winners in April last year, but chose to announce the winners online, after the original event was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Elliot joined the Jones Bros trainee engineer apprenticeship scheme aged 17. He initially spent nine months at the National Construction College in Norfolk, gaining a national diploma in construction and an NVQ level 3.
He then studied for two years part-time at Yale College, Wrexham, for an HNC in civil engineering.
After a year gaining experience on sites including wind farms, coastal defences and highways, Jones Bros supported Elliot through a six-year part-time Master’s degree in civil engineering at Liverpool John Moores University. He graduated in 2019 with first class honours.
He said: “My shortlisting came as a surprise, so winning is even more amazing. I’d thought that because I had followed a different training route to most people, I would not be eligible.
“To be named as the most promising graduate trainee, having seen the quality of some of my colleagues who have won CECA Wales awards in the past, it’s fantastic.
“My next step this year is going for my Chartered Engineer status with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), so this is a real vote of confidence.”
“After almost 10 years in continual education the award has made it all worthwhile. It just shows with a good attitude and solid support from your employers, you can do anything.”
Elliot was one of three Jones Bros trainees shortlisted, alongside Jack Meredydd Owen, 19, nominated for most promising trade apprentice and Gary Salisbury, 22, who was up for most promising non-graduate trainee civil engineer.
Mike Jones, supervising civil engineer for Jones Bros ICE Training Scheme, said: “We’re thrilled to see Elliot win, it’s a real stamp of approval for the work we do here to train and develop young civil engineers.
“We were fortunate to have three really skilled and enthusiastic people nominated. They’ve each come up through their particular training routes to become excellent employees and positive role models, and I’d like to congratulate Jack and Gary as well.”
Established in the 1950s, Jones Bros’ leadership team consists of members of the second and third generations of the founding family.
The company runs an award-winning apprenticeship scheme, which has produced more than 40 per cent of its current workforce, with many of its senior managers having started out as apprentices or in a trainee role. It has recruited more than 100 apprentices during the past three years.