Further education and skills – news story

Hundreds of apprentices enter challenge to be best in the country

Apprentices across the country have kicked off the quest to become the team of the year as the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2017 regional heats begin.

Now in its 6th year, the Brathay Apprentice Challenge (#BAC17) has seen over 650 apprentices from across 75 organisations enter the challenge. Over the next four months, the teams will take on a series of exciting and interactive work-related challenges to develop new skills and showcase their employer by engaging with young people and businesses to promote the benefits of apprenticeships.

Organisations of all sizes have entered teams of apprentices. Large employers include AstraZeneca, Balfour Beatty, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM and Severn Trent Water. Household names will be up against local authorities including Brighton & Hove Council, Plymouth City Council and Surrey County Council.

Smaller sized employers are represented with groups of companies working together to enter, such as the Enterprise M3 Apprentice Ambassador Network team created by the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Colleges and training providers have also entered the challenge with teams of apprentices training with organisations including Derwent Training Association, HIT Training and QinetiQ Apprentice Training School.

The challenge is designed to develop and test team building, leadership, logistical and communications abilities. The Regional Heats see apprentices complete a Community Project that benefits young people and conduct activities that raise the profile of the team, their employer and apprenticeships.

For the first time apprentices taking part in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2017 are invited to attend a full training day commended and certified by City & Guilds Group to help prepare them with additional skills, tools and techniques to confidently promote apprenticeships and ultimately boost their careers.

Eight National Finalists teams will be announced on 17 May 2017 at the House of Commons. The National Finals consist of further awareness raising activity with the challenge culminating in a four day Logistical and Team Building Finale at Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters from 12 to 15 June 2017. The apprentice team of the year 2017 will be announced on 14 June 2017.

Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said:

It is great to see so many employers embracing the Brathay Apprentice Challenge. This challenge is a unique opportunity for schools, employers and local communities to hear about the benefits of apprenticeships directly from apprentices.

Apprenticeships offer young people the opportunity to gain qualifications up to Degree level, whilst earning and developing skills they need to succeed. The Brathay Apprentice Challenge allows apprentices to showcase the true potential of apprenticeships.

For more information on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge and to see a list of all teams entered visit brathay.com/challenge.