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 Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Name: Sam McDermott
Role: Junior Quality Technician, Degree Level Apprentice
Favourite Food: I like everything!
No1 Netflix Show: Black Mirror
What superpower would you choose? Flying
What.s best about your current role? I get to work with a broad range of customers on a diverse range of products.
I first joined KMF when I was 18 after spending two years at college studying for a BTEC in engineering. I gained a level 3 NVQ in Fabrication and Welding and after graduation, had a permanent role in welding and started 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 Bachelor's degree.
I always thought an apprenticeship was a great way to gain an education and the necessary qualifications while working and earning a wage. I have still managed to work towards a Bachelor's degree and have also acquired lots of real-world engineering and fabrication experience.
My primary responsibility is dealing directly with customers on any quality issues, anything from a query regarding something like paint finishes to ensuring that products conform with any tolerance requirements.
I also produce quality reports and look after weld inspection. I spend a large amount of my time looking after clients whose 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 Bachelor's 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 the Brecon Beacons. We spent a week taking part in leadership and team-building challenges, canyoning and night walking 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 of opportunities. I've had a chance to progress through KMF and move into different departments while KMF has 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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