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Precision Sheet Metal Manufacturing

KMF's commitment to training its staff is seen as an investment in the company's future.
The 1980s saw a dramatic decline in the number of engineering apprenticeships and, even though this reduction was camouflaged by the rise of the modern apprenticeship, the skills gap left by this lack of training is a serious threat to the future of the UK manufacturing sector. Recognising this, KMF is investing in its own future with the opening of a dedicated training centre.

KMF is faced with a real challenge when it comes to finding the skilled people required as it continues to grow. The general lack of available skilled people in this manufacturing sector, combined with its location in the heart of the Potteries, has led the management team at KMF to radically rethink its strategy for training. The result of this strategy is a state-of-the-art £600,000 apprentice training centre which was officially opened by the company's founder, Michael Higgins, on the 20th November 2009.

The success of this decision is borne out by the fact that the scores achieved by apprentices at KMF now are significantly higher than the national average, as a result of the combination of improved selection, training, working practices and a greater focus on individuals. Apprentices at KMF are taught in classes of four, with in-house lecturers having much more time to address any problems that may arise. Being on-site throughout their apprenticeship also allows a greater involvement with the wider aspects of the business, and time spent in the commercial and production elements of the business are written into each apprentice's training program from the beginning of their employment.

We have seven fully trained internal assessors, three internal verifiers and one external verifier who make up the EAL training team. Due to the varying backgrounds of the assessors and qualified teachers we are able to train and assess in a diverse range of qualifications covering; National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ), Vocational Related Qualifications (VRQ) and Functional Skills.

The qualifications range from:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Advanced Apprenticeships
  • Health and Safety
  • Business Improvement Techniques
  • Performing Engineering Operations
  • Fabrication and Welding
  • Machine Maintenance