groupApprentices from Apprenticeships Norfolk Network, Hampshire County Council, HMRC Digital Newcastle, HMRC Surge and Rapid Response Team, HSBC, IBM, QinetiQ and UK Atomic Energy Authority have been named National Finalists in the search for the apprentice team of the year.

After three months of hard work between teams from the country’s leading apprentice employers, training providers and colleges, the National Finalists of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge were announced at the House of Commons by Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service.

Four regional Finalists were announced as HSBC (Northern winner), Apprenticeships Norfolk Network (Central winner), UK Atomic Energy Authority (London and the South East winner) and Hampshire County Council (South West winner). They are joined by four additional National Finalists HMRC Digital Newcastle, HMRC Surge and Rapid Response Team, IBM and QinetiQ.

The teams taking part in the Challenge have spread the word about apprenticeships to employers across England and recruited nearly 300 businesses to start offering apprenticeships.

As part of the Challenge the apprentice teams have also reached out to their local communities and delivered 45 community projects to benefit young people, from renovation projects to creating volunteering opportunities for young people.

In addition, the teams visited more than 320 schools, career fairs and youth groups to encourage young people to consider apprenticeships.

The National Finalists will now continue awareness raising activities until mid June, when they will be invited to Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters for the Logistical and Teambuilding Finale where the apprentice team of the year will be announced on 15th June.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:
“Congratulations to all the teams for being such effective apprenticeship ambassadors. This Challenge is a way for apprentices to demonstrate the skills they have gained and the incredible things you can achieve while learning in the workplace. I look forward to the next and final stage of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2016.”

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

“The apprentice team of the year National Finals demonstrate the skills, knowledge and desire to succeed from apprentices; and this continues to inspire others and impress us in equal measure. It is great to  see apprentices put in the hard work to get the recognition they deserve, highlighting how apprenticeships benefit not only young people themselves, but their employers and their local community too.”

This year’s judges for the Brathay Apprentice Challenge included Sue Husband from the National Apprenticeship Service, Godfrey Owen from Brathay Trust, Amar Gill from British Airways, Patrick Craven from City & Guilds and Tobais Mills from Manpower.

Speaking at the House of Commons National Finalists Announcement, Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive of Challenge organisers, Brathay Trust, said:

“All of the teams that have taken part have worked really hard and the quality of the portfolios increases year on year.  We look forward to the final stage of the Challenge when we can welcome the National Finalists to Brathay in June.”

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