Kayleigh Simm, KMF, apprentice award
KMF Precision Sheet Metal apprentice Kayleigh Simm with her award from the Confederation of British Metalforming.
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KMF apprentice celebrates win at the ‘metalforming Oscars’ 

1 min read

A young female engineer from North Staffordshire has been named the best in her sector at a prestigious event. 

Kayleigh Simm, who works for KMF Precision Sheet Metal in Newcastle-under-Lyme, beat off competition from tens of budding manufacturers to claim the title of the Confederation of British Metalforming’s (CBM) Apprentice of the Year. 

Judges are said to have been impressed 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. 

Geraldine Bolton, CEO of the CBM, said: “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.” 

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

Its awards evening, held in Birmingham, was attended by more than 200 guests who were treated to 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. 

Steve Morley, President of the CBM, said: “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.” 

Hayley Johnson

Senior journalist with over 15 years’ experience writing for customers and audiences all over the world. Previous work has included everything from breaking news for national newspapers to complex business stories, in-depth human-interest features and celebrity interviews - and most things in between.

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