KMF Group has developed its training programme over the past 10 years and has seen 100 apprentices come through the scheme, including 12 adult apprentices. This year, Shay Johnston, Aiden Sneyd, Oscar Evans, Kelly Palin and Kyle Marshall have joined the award-winning precision engineering business.

Image: Left to Right - Shay Johnston, Aiden Sneyd, Oscar Evans, Kelly Palin and Kyle Marshall

The apprentices, all aged 16-18 years old, will complete an Engineering Operating Level 2 apprenticeship at KMF Group which is a four-year programme.

Says Keith Nicholl, commercial director at KMF Group: “Young people have been put in a really difficult situation this year but we think it’s vital that we continue to invest in them. There is a significant amount of talent locally and we want to provide opportunities to these young people who are the future of the business.

“It would be so easy to say, let’s just leave it for this year, but we see the fruits of the programme four years down the line, and we don’t want to lose a year of that.

“We’re also pleased to have Kelly Palin with us, as we always actively recruit female apprentices. It’s so important to give women opportunities in the engineering and manufacturing industry, they bring such a great approach, with a different dynamic and various skill sets that always work well here.”

The group supports young people in developing their careers from their on-site, purpose built training centre. The students complete both their theory and practical work at the Newcastle-under-Lyme facility. The programme has grown rapidly and KMF Group now has four qualified teachers on-site at the EAL-approved training centre.

Providing opportunities is at the forefront of the manufacturer’s culture and additionally more people are supported as they go on to higher education at degree level.

Adds Nickoll: “We have had many success stories that started out at apprenticeship level and many of our senior members came through that route. They progress through the business and find roles suited to them from programming engineers, engineering planning, to business development and customer services roles.

“We’re not prescriptive as to the role they have to fill. We put a lot of time and effort into our apprentices which pays off tenfold as we now have a strong workforce comprising of staff that are hard workers and do a great job.”