With two weeks to go to sign up to the Brathay Apprentice Challenge – why your organisations should take part

Employers and training providers are being urged to enter their apprentices in the search for the ‘apprentice team of the year’ before the closing date of December 13th 2013 by the National Apprenticeship Service and the Brathay Trust.

Now in its third year, the Brathay Apprentice Challenge tests apprentices on their team building, leadership, logistical and communications abilities in a series of challenges including awareness raising and community projects.

Last year the Brathay Apprentice Challenge teams raised £35,000 for charity, conducted over 300 school visits educating young people on the benefits of Apprenticeships and delivered over 60 community projects ranging from renovating derelict empty spaces to holding CV drop-in for local youngsters.

The Challenge focuses on offering an enhanced Apprenticeship, developing skills like team building, leadership and communications – many of which are found in the top positions within business.

This November, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg heard from apprentices who competed in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2013, with their recommendations on how to increase the number of young people involved in community activities.

Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive of organisers, Brathay Trust, said:

“The Brathay Apprentice Challenge gives teams the chance to push themselves to their limits while learning the key skills needed in employment and educating young people on the benefits of apprenticeships from their own experiences. The skills learned by the teams through the community projects and profile raising are not specific to The Challenge, they are transferrable and very much sought-after by employers.

“The Deputy Prime Minister was really impressed by the apprentices during the presentation. He realised the need to get more young people involved in their community and has asked the apprentices to send a written confirmation of their recommendations for him to fully review.”

Innovia Films were crowned the ‘apprentice team of the year’ in 2013 narrowly beating Norse Group and 2012 winners Cobham into joint second place.

Richard Morris, Innovia’s Global Learning & Development Manager said:

“As a business we used to focus heavily on technical skills and knowledge and let the people side look after itself, recently we have balanced that out by focusing on important people qualities and behaviours; for example, self-awareness, network building, appreciating personal impact and emotional intelligence.  The Brathay Apprentice Challenge illustrated how important these attributes are, at all stages in a career.”

Teams of nine apprentices entering the Brathay Apprentice Challenge can be made up all from a single employer, a group of small businesses, an industry sector, supply chain or training provider. This means all businesses have the opportunity to show the country what their up-and-coming stars can do.

The Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014 opened for formal nominations at the Skills Show in November 2013. The closing date for your organisation to enter is Friday 13th December 2013.

To win the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, teams of nine apprentices have to prove their team building, leadership, logistical and communications abilities.

Regional heats, consisting of awareness raising activity and a community project take place January through to March 2014. Eight finalist teams will be announced in April and will battle it out to be crowned ‘apprentice team of the year’.

The eight teams take part in further awareness raising activity and fundraising activity with the Challenge culminating in a logistical and team building adventure finale at the Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters from 9th to 11th June 2014.

Karen Woodward from the National Apprenticeship Service, said:

“The quality of work coming from the teams that take part in the Challenge shows not just employers but the wider community about the impressive work apprentices can achieve. Challenges such as the Brathay Apprentice Challenge offer an enhanced Apprenticeship experience which benefits both employers and apprentices; employers gain a workforce with transferable skills throughout a business while apprentices themselves become more employable and more likely to be promoted.”

For more information on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge (#BAC2014), search to find the ‘apprentice of team of the year’, supported by the National Apprenticeship Service and to apply for #BAC2014, visit http://bit.ly/BAC2014