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North Staffs female engineer named as Apprentice of the Year at the ‘Metalforming Oscars’

A young female engineer from North Staffordshire has been named as the Confederation of British Metalforming’s Apprentice of the Year at a prestigious event last night.

Kayleigh Simm, who works for KMF Precision Sheet Metal in Newcastle-under-Lyme, beat off competition from tens of budding manufacturers to claim the prize, impressing judges with her progress in the business and her ability to engage with others keen to get into the sector.

This has seen the 19-year-old lead a KMF team at 15 school and college career fairs, as well as acting as an outstanding apprentice advocate on its Apprenticeship Open Day that attracted over 140 visitors.

She is now setting her sights on undertaking a degree in Manufacturing Engineering.

With 200 people in attendance at The Grand Hotel in Birmingham, Kayleigh was joined on stage by Sertec Group (Company of the Year) and G-TEM, who was a double winner on the evening (HSE Initiative and Energy Efficiency).

Steve Morley, President of the Confederation of British Metalforming (CBM), commented:

“It has been another difficult year for the metalforming sector, who are facing up to global conflicts, continued supply chain disruption and high inflation.

“In spite of all this, our members have continued to show great resilience and innovation to post increased sales, export growth and investment in safety, people and new technology.”

He continued:

“This is illustrated by the winners at our Annual Dinner. All of them are striving to be the best they can be in their respective fields and, importantly, are committed to raising the profile of our sector and what UK manufacturing can do.”

The Confederation of British Metalforming represents the interests of more than 200 UK manufacturers of fasteners, forgings, pressings, cold rolled and sheet-metal products.

Its Awards were kindly sponsored by Crowe UK, Greenfields Energy Group, Steel & Alloy Gonvarri Industries, and the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

Geraldine Bolton, CEO of the CBM, went on to add:

“It is fantastic to have a female engineer win the Apprentice of the Year title, and Kayleigh will no doubt help us attract more girls into our sector.

“Our Annual Dinner continues to be an excellent vehicle for promoting and celebrating the very best of the UK’s metalforming sector.

“In addition to the awards, more than 200 guests also enjoyed an inspirational talk by Dave Heeley OBE, who has earned the nickname of ‘Blind Dave’ after raising hundreds of thousands of pounds completing marathons and other endurance challenges.”

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