Interview With Joe Keatley, Apprentice At DPF

Joe Keatley has completed his toolmaking apprenticeship with DPF Engineering and is taking some time out to travel and explore new horizons. Before he left, we sat down with Joe to learn more about his experience.

So, Joe, remind us when you joined DPF and in what capacity?

I joined the business in November 2018 and quickly signed up to begin an apprenticeship in toolmaking. I really didn’t know much about engineering when I started and I spent a lot of time shadowing colleagues with more experience, absorbing as much as possible. It was very much step by step, building up my skills and knowledge.

Tell us a little about the experience you gained as an apprentice

In addition to working in the business, I attended my course in Sligo, this was divided into three block release sessions. My first block release was for 5 months; a combination of learning and hands on practical training. Then I returned to work at DPF Engineering.

I gained additional skills within the business such as forklift driving and manual handling training. I also availed of informal learning – understanding how specific machines and processes work from other team members.

What did you enjoy most about your time at DPF Engineering?

The people – they are sound.

There is so much knowledge and experience within the business and my colleagues ensured that I had the best possible developmental opportunities.

Would you recommend DPF Engineering as an employer for apprentices?

Definitely – 100%.


I gained so much experience, right across the board; practical experience on the machines and CAM programming. I had such a variety of work and I know that is not always the experience of other apprentices.

I was treated very well as an apprentice and my time with DPF has set me up to have a successful career in this area.

Having said that, I am only leaving because I have itchy feet, and a desire to do some travelling. When I return, the first call I’ll make will be to DPF Engineering and hopefully will re-join the team.

Thank you for your feedback Joe, we look forward to receiving that call, but in the meantime we wish you safe travels and wonderful experiences.

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