Sam currently works as a Junior Quality Technician at KMF Precision Sheet Metal. After completing his Advanced Engineering Manufacture apprenticeship in July 2014, Sam progressed from a welder, to welding inspector, to his current quality role and he is now studying for a Bachelors Degree in Mechnical Engineering.
Name: Sam McDermott
Role: Junior Quality Technician, Degree Level Apprentice
Favourite Food: I like everything!
No1 Netflix Show: Black Mirror
If you could have any superpower, what would you choose? Flying
What do you like about your current role? I get to work with a broad range of customers on a diverse range of products which is interesting.
I first joined KMF when I was 18 after spending 2 years at college studying for a BTEC in engineering. I spent two years gaining a level 3 NVQ in Fabrication and Welding and after graduation I gained a permament role in weld and started studying towards a foundation degree. After 12 or so months, I progressed from a welder to a weld inspector. Now I work as a junior quality technician and am working toward a bachelors degree, graduating in 2020!
I always thought an apprenticeship was a great way to gain an education and the necessary qualifications whilst working and earning a wage. I have still managed to work towards a bachelors degree however have also gained lots of real-world engineering and fabrication experience.
My main responsibility is dealing directly with customers on any quality issues, anything from a query regarding something like a paint finish and ensuring products conform to any tolerance requirements. I also produce quality reports and look after weld inspection. I spend a large amount of my time looking after clients who's products are manufactured within KMF's stainless steel facility, KMF Special Products.
Fabrication and Welding NVQ and VRQ up to level 3, a foundation degree in mechanical engineering and hopefully next year, a bachelors degree, again in mechanical engineering. I have also been able to gain other qualifications such as a CSWIP 3.1 welding accreditation which KMF funded to help me progress further as an inspector.
As part of my final project for my foundation degree I got to work with Phil Heath, one of KMF's design engineers to design and manufacture a competition table for Lego® Robotics.
The brief was to design a lighter, more transportable Lego table for their national competitions and I was tasked with overseeing the project from design to delivery which was really interesting and allowed me to gain experience in project management. KMF still manufacture the Lego® tables and I continue to support the competition by volunteering as a referee.
I also really enjoyed the out of bounds trip to Brecon Beacons, we spent a week taking part in leadership and team-building challenges, canyoning and nightwalking through waterfalls. It was good to do something different, get out of my comfort zone and get to know our fellow apprentices even more.
The progression opportunities. I've been given the chance to progress through KMF and move into different departments whilst KMF have continued to fund and support my education and invest in the development of my skills. The majority of my cohort have progressed into team leader roles or departments such as planning, sales and programming and that's good to see.
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