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Meet Our Apprentices: Rafay

cnc machining apprentice

Rafay is a 3rd-year Mechanical Manufacturing apprentice at KMF Precision Engineering. Rafay first became interested in engineering when he took part in KMF's Young Engineer of the Year project and was keen to undertake an apprenticeship so that he could get into the world of work and start earning a wage.

Rafay has had the opportunity to attend training courses with some of KMF's largest machinery suppliers and has ambitions to move into a quality inspector role upon graduation.

Name: Rafay Ali
Role: 3rd year Mechanical Manufacturing Apprentice
Favourite Food: Cheese oatcakes
No1 Netflix Show: Narcos
Most played Artist on your playlist: Drake

Why did you pursue an apprenticeship in engineering?

I first became interested in engineering when KMF came to my school with their Young Engineer of the Year Project. As a year 10 pupil, I was invited to take part in KMF's clock project which tasked us to design and manufacture a working clock.

It was really interesting and so when KMF came back with the kit car project, I got involved again. I went to college at 16 but soon decided that I wanted to get into work as soon as possible. I attended an open day at KMF and applied for the apprenticeship scheme.

Tell us about your current role?

I am currently a 3rd-year mechanical manufacturing apprentice. I attend lessons in KMF's main training facility every Monday and spend the rest of my week setting up and running production jobs on the shop floor. I'm currently based on one of our advanced, top-of-the-line Mazak 5-axis machines.

What is the favourite part of your apprenticeship?

The people, everyone is nice and supportive. I also enjoy working on wider community projects every so often. For example, I am given the opportunity to support the Young Engineer competition which brought me here to KMF. I like the opportunity to do something different for the day.

I am currently working on a project for the British Ceramics Biennial, to design and manufacture a style of scissor lift that will be able to transport a kiln from Potclays to different schools across Staffordshire. These projects allow us to gain experience in project management which is a good experience.

What other opportunities have you been offered at KMF?

I recently went to Mazak Academy (one of our main machinery suppliers) in Worcester for a week on a programming training course. We learned lots of advanced programming knowledge which will allow me to become fully conversant with all aspects of Mazatrol and I received a detailed folder which I can refer back to throughout my apprenticeship.

It was also really good to tour another manufacturing facility, explore how they operate and see how they manufacture the machines that we use every day. I was also given the chance to go on the annual Out of Bounds trip last year to Luchon. It was an incredible trip where we camped, went canyoning, hiked through waterfalls and mountain biking.

What advice would you give to a new apprentice?

It's definitely a good thing to get into and so I would 100% recommend apprenticeships to other young people.

When I first started, I had huge amounts of energy and was really excited to get to work on some of the advanced machines. I would recommend being enthusiastic but to also try and focus and concentrate on learning the basic principles first.

What would you like to do after graduation?

I think I would like to explore a role within KMF's quality department. After graduation, KMF has offered a role which will allow me to spend one day a week within our quality inspection department to investigate whether it is something I would like to do full-time.

I think if I continue to build on my experience of operating our 5-axis machinery so that I have an excellent level of knowledge, that will only enhance a future role in quality because I will have a greater understanding.

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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