At its recent annual awards, KMF Group
— a provider of precision sheet metal fabrication and CNC machining services — celebrated the very best of its young engineers, with eight awards being handed out. The much-coveted ‘Apprentice of the Year’ title was presented, along with three ‘Team Leader Choice Awards’, a ‘Time Keeping and Attendance Award’, two Highly Commended citations — plus and a brand-new award that has been created as a tribute to a ‘KMF legend’.
This year, the event was held at KMF’s head office, with apprentices and staff invited in person while parents and guardians were able to watch on a live stream from home. This enabled the company to go ahead with the awards while keeping it ‘Covid safe’.
Josh Clewlow (20), this year’s winner of the ‘big prize’ and a Level 3 Apprentice, said: “I didn’t think I’d win the award, but it is great to have been chosen to receive it. The event was really well organised and as good as any other award before. Working as an apprentice at KMF challenges you and helps you to learn and grow.
“I enjoy working with the other apprentices, as we all have similar hobbies and interests. I hope to stay on at KMF after my apprenticeship and eventually progress to management. I am looking forward to finishing my apprenticeship so I can start to progress.”
The new John Booth Academic Achievement Award is in honour of John Booth, an ex-employee who passed away suddenly in February. He joined KMF aged 65 and was integral to setting up the KMF training facility. He worked with KMF for 10 years before retiring aged 75. The award was created to solely focus on academia, as KMF wanted to recognise an apprentice every year who has grown and developed academically. This award went to 20-year-old Ryan Hewitt, who joined in 2019 and has just started his Level 3 apprenticeship. He said: “It means quite a lot to be the first to win the John Booth Academic Achievement Award. I went to college first and knew it wasn’t for me, quickly realising I wanted to do something more hands-on, which I can do at KMF.”
Jenny Johnston, KMF’s ‘people and culture’ manager, said: “We currently have 30 apprentices at KMF, and anyone of them would be worthy award winners. They are all hard working, dedicated young people who show great commitment to KMF. We are really proud of our apprentices, and we can’t wait to start the process of recruiting so we can meet the next cohort to follow in some fantastic footsteps.”
The application process has officially begun to find 16 sheet metal fabrication apprentices, who will develop their careers at KMF’s on-site, purpose-built training centre and dedicated training workshop.
The students complete both their theory and practical work at the Newcastle-under-Lyme facility. The programme has grown rapidly over the last 14 years, with the Group having four full-time qualified teachers at its EAL approved training centre.