Adam Ellis was unsure what path to take after school and ended up enrolling on a diploma in engineering at college. 

By his own admission he didn’t really enjoy the course apart from a two-week placement at Goodwin Engineering. This was mid-way through his course, and they offered him an apprenticeship whilst he was there. 

He decided to finish his course, largely due to his parents influence and the fact that he had a part-time job working with his father who was a lift-engineer, and therefore he did not need the money. 

Adam passed the diploma, ‘scraping through’ by his own admission. He then considered employment or university, but it was his mum who saw a job for an apprentice engineer at KMF Group. 

Adam said: “I got an interview with the MD, Gareth Higgins and the purchasing director at KMF. I was impressed with the set up and the fact they had their own dedicated school for apprentices. I accepted and started my apprenticeship journey. It was largely workshop based in year one but then I got to learn about the various processes including CNC, punching, metal folding and paint line. 

“Apprentices also participated in outward bound activities, including a freezing week in the Brecon Beacons in February, and charity work. 

“In year four I decided on metal bending and folding as my specialism and then I had to decide whether to go on to the shop floor or take the foundation degree. I decided on the shop floor route and went to work in the ‘advanced solutions’ department working on aerospace components. 

“Whilst I enjoyed the work, I didn’t enjoy the solitude. During my time there I made an ‘equipment library’ drawing, detailing all the equipment as an aid to the sales team. The management were impressed and asked me to apply for a job as a sales engineer. 

“I got the job and was able to go out with the sales team, using my knowledge of the shop floor to explain processes. 

“Within two years I was promoted to a business development role. I was assigned customers and it was my job to grow their accounts. I managed to grow my first customer from around 5K per month to around £60K per month and replicated this several times over.” 

Adam’s hard work paid off and only 18 months later, in May 2022, he was promoted to head of business development with responsibility for two business development managers, tasked to make a sizeable input to KMF Group’s target annual turnover of around £50M.  

Adam said: “I’m really proud when I look back at my career journey, starting with my apprenticeship. Observing and learning the company’s key processes from the outset gave me knowledge and confidence to speak to customers and instil confidence in them that we can provide solutions and partner them. 

“It’s a progression and I am still learning and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I recently spoke in front of an audience of 600 at an apprenticeship ceremony. I must admit it was scary, but if I can inspire others to seize on the opportunities an apprenticeship offers like I have, then it’s got to be worth it.”