KMF (Precision Sheet Metal) apprentices Harley Brian and Ryan Murphy took a step closer to being part of Team UK at the next World Skills competition, after taking Gold and Silver medals, respectively in the Advanced category during the Skills Show at Birmingham's NEC.
Harley and Ryan, who are just entering their third year as apprentices at KMF, hope to follow in the footsteps of their mentor, and former KMF apprentice Matt Page, who was part of the team representing the UK at World Skills Leipzig 2013, in the sheet metal category.
The recent Skills Show competition saw almost 700 apprentices competing for places in the Team UK training squad for Brazil 2015, representing more than 40 diverse skill groups. Harley and Ryan will now join other medal winners on an intense two-year programme, which will see them compete against each other for a coveted place on the plane to Brazil in 2015.
Sheet metal technology was only reintroduced to the list of skills in 2009 after a long absence, so it is particularly pleasing that KMF has had apprentices selected for Team UK on the two occasions that it has entered since then.
"We are extremely proud of the achievements of Harley and Ryan at this year's Skills Show, and we will be giving them every encouragement and all the support that they need over the next two years to assist them in gaining a place on Team UK as it heads out to Brazil in 2015. The experience we gained with Matt this year, will help to ensure that Harley or Ryan have the best possible chance to bring home Gold from Brazil," says Jenny Conlon, KMF's Training Centre Manager.
The sheet metal technology category is a wide ranging remit, with apprentices challenged in skills that can be seen in everyday products found in sectors such as automotive, aerospace structures, construction, shop fitting, and catering equipment.
The winner is expected to show a good understanding of all these skills and be able to put them into practice using traditional handcrafts as well as modern computer technology using CAD/CAM and CNC metal cutting and forming equipment.