KMF Precision Sheet Metal Limited hosted the award ceremony for the Engineering Skills Competitions national finals on Friday (3 November).

The competition, which spanned nine months, culminated in an award ceremony that saw first place being shared by two competitors.

KMF’s own Kyle Marshall, (19), and Coleg Cambria’s competitor Joel Eccles, (19), from Lester Cladding, Flintshire, took home gold for their design and manufacture of a pizza oven. They were handed their highly coveted awards by MD of KMF, Gareth Higgins MBE, who commended the competitors for the skill and precision they showed throughout the competition.

Dave Vaughan of Engineering Skills Competitions set the task which had a rigorous marking system. He said: “The competitors were excellent this year, with all finalists creating excellent pizza ovens in a very tight time frame of 18 hours.”

Since February, businesses have been putting their apprentices through various stages of the competition. National Qualifiers were held regionally over the summer with the top scorers making it to the final. 

Joining Kyle and Joel in the final were fellow KMF fourth year Fabricator Standard Level Three apprentices Aidan Sneyd, (19), and James Holdcroft, (21).

James placed second, and Aidan was awarded a medallion of excellence.

Dave added: “This competition is a great opportunity for young sheet metalwork engineers to develop a wider range of skills. I chose a pizza oven design because it pushes them to learn more intricate metalwork skills alongside manufacturing and welding sheet metals. They had to work with CAD and precision metalwork equipment too which gives them advanced skills and experience.”

Winner Kyle said: “I’ve enjoyed taking part in the competition. It’s enabled me to put my training in to practice. A challenge like this gives apprentices like myself, the opportunity to step outside of our comfort zones. I’ve worked hard towards this throughout the year and I’m really happy to have won, alongside Joel.”

Matt Page, apprentice trainer at KMF said: “Our competitors didn’t let us down. They worked incredibly hard and produced excellent products. It was a very close final, and James should be equally as proud of his work.

“It’s been great working with Dave to showcase our apprentice’s skills and to develop them further. It was an excellent competition, rounded off perfectly with the awards ceremony.”

The tutors Alun Bagshaw, Coleg Cambria and Josh Brookes, KMF helped with the competition and judging.