Apprentice Leah "The Female Fabricator Blazing The Way!"

Keltech's Leah Murphy is blazing a trail for others to follow in the South East. The 19 year old is the only female student in this years Craft of Metal Fabrication Apprenticeship programme and in-fact is the first ever female to be enrolled in the course delivered at Waterford's ETB.

How did Leah become an Apprentice Fabricator?

“Most of my close school friends have went on to 3rd level further education. I actually got accepted for my 3rd level course of choice but when I really sat down and thought about it I decided that route wasn’t for me. I’m delighted now I didn’t, I’m learning and earning,” she says with a wry smile.

At Secondary School Leah was a good student excelling at Technical subjects such as Art, Metalwork and Engineering. “I love working with my hands and creating things, I think that comes from working at home with my dad and helping him fix up Agricultural equipment and Tractors.”

Leah spotted one of Keltech’s posts advertising our Welding Academy. “When I looked into the company a little bit deeper and saw you were making stuff for the likes of Volvo, Manitou and Liebherr I applied immediately.”

Keltech Apprenticeship

Leah was instantly recognised as a top performer during her Welding Academy training says Keltech’s Operations Manager Pat Butler (himself a former Keltech Welder). “Leah’s talent was noticeable from day one, however what surpassed her talent and impressed me more was her attitude; immense,a pleasure to have on the course and in the company in general”.

Leah was deployed to the Niftylift Tank Cell. In her first year her talent and work ethic made the cell one of the most efficient in the entire factory. Last year when Keltech’s Annual Apprenticeship scheme was advertised Leah was an obvious choice.

Leah has now entered the second phase of The Craft of Metal Fabrication Apprenticeship and has been off site since November. ” Im loving my time in the Waterford ETB . There is so many opportunities to learn and develop, the tutors are all excellent. I’ve learnt a lot more about drawings, understanding them, how to plan and think everything through first before starting a task. I am the only female in my class, and the first female Metal Fabricator Waterford ETB has had! Im proud of that, the first but not the last I hope.”

Looking ahead Leah has her sights firmly set on The World Skills Ireland competition later this year. “I love being challenged and getting the opportunity to display my skills. With what I have learned in Keltech over the past 3 years combined with the excellent training being delivered by the WWETB I’m confident that when the prelims come around I’ll be ready!”

Returning to Keltech in April for module 3 is something Leah looks forward to as well. “Once I have these exams out of the way I’ll be back to Keltech production, I’m looking forward to it, I miss the day job and most importantly my team members in the Nifylift cell.”

Enjoyed reading this post or want to find out more? Contact seamus.lawlor@keltech.ie or 00353864681333 for any enquiries.

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