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Meet Our Apprentices: Chloe

fabrication apprentice

Chloe was the first female apprentice at KMF's sheet metal fabrication facility. Chloe has excelled in her academic study, achieving NVQ Level 2 and Level 3 in Fabrication and Welding and is now working towards a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

She has also been given the opportunity to take part in multiple apprentice exchange programmes, including travelling to Trumpf in Germany, and has won multiple awards for her commitment to wider community and to charity projects.

Name: Chloe
Role: Welder, Degree apprentice at KMF Precision Sheet Metal
Favourite Food: KFC chicken & gravy
No1 Netflix Show: Stranger Things!
Most played Artist on your playlist: Escape the Fate
Favourite fabrication discipline: Welding

What about becoming an apprentice appealed to you?

I knew I wanted to get a university degree but I didn't want to pay the really high university fees. I wanted to get a job and start earning some money as well as achieving higher qualifications.

What responsibilities change as an apprentice?

I now work as a permanent employee in one of KMF's dedicated customer cells as a welder. The products I work on now are much more complex as they require TIG welding and demand a high-level, cosmetic stainless-steel finish.

I've gained skills in each department at KMF, working on a hugely varied range of jobs and products. KMF has the very latest CNC fabrication technology and so, as well as my academic achievements, I'm now highly skilled at operating all of the advanced CNC machinery which is a really good experience.

During my apprenticeship, I was awarded several external awards, such as Apprentice of the Year at both The Sentinel and Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, which allowed me to promote engineering apprenticeships to other young females.

What qualifications have you gained since working at KMF?

After my two-year apprenticeship, I achieved an NVQ Level 2 and Level 3 in Fabrication and Welding and I am currently studying for a foundation degree in mechanical engineering at Newcastle College. I will then progress on to a Bachelor's Degree with Staffordshire University.

Have you had opportunities to develop your skills?

I have taken part in multiple apprentice exchange projects, including Mazak in Worcester and Trumpf in Germany. Going to Mazak was part of an apprentice trade, so Mazak apprentices came to KMF too and we worked with them on CNC, folding and office work, including design.
At Trumpf in Germany, we worked alongside their apprentices on milling. It was great to experience another apprentice trade which we don't get to work on at KMF Precision Sheet Metal and a different culture. It is really interesting to work within another organisation and see how they operate and deliver best practice.
I was also crowned KMF's 'Community Champion' in the final year of my apprenticeship because I had volunteered over 300 hours to community or charity projects. This included anything from careers fairs to total wipeout activities and charity stalls which I think helped me develop a different set of social skills.

What are your aspirations after your apprenticeship?

I hope to progress into a different department within KMF Precision Sheet Metal, maybe gain experience in KMF's programming or design department. I think it will be really interesting to work with software such as Radan and RadBend and learn how to transform customer drawings to programmes to operate the CNC machinery and understand the automated processes within the facility.

Any advice for women considering an engineering career?

Do a lot of work experience, although I would say that to male applicants too. I don't think I've been treated any differently for being a female.
I completed nearly a month of work experience at KMF before my application and that was really useful in confirming that I wanted to go ahead with a sheet metal apprenticeship.
There are so many apprenticeships out there in different aspects of engineering so get some work experience and see which is most suited to you.

If you have any questions regarding our award-winning engineering apprenticeships, please email us or give us a call 01782 569060.

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