Over 1,000 Apprentices battle to be apprentice team of the year

Teams from businesses across the country have signed up for the Challenge, including Boots Opticians, British Airways, HSBC, Nestle, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Virgin Media.

Smaller and medium sized employers are also represented with Bradford Bulls, Norse Commercial Services and Saffron Housing Trust entering the 2014 team of the year search.

Training providers will also be represented in the contest with teams of apprentices enrolled in training at organisations like New College Stamford, Milton Keynes College and Leeds City College expected to take part.

Last years’ winners Innovia Films from Cumbria have also entered to defend their crown along with 2012 winners, aerospace firm Cobham.

Supported by the National Apprenticeship Service, the Brathay Apprentice Challenge offers an enhanced Apprenticeship, giving apprentices the chance to improve their team building, logistical, leadership and community skills.

Consisting of nine apprentices, the teams will spread the word about Apprenticeships through school visits, media interviews and social media activity and will take on a local community project before the end of March.

Finalists will be announced in April at the House of Commons before going on to compete in further activities prior to the national finals in June 2014.

Matthew Hancock MP, Skills and Enterprise Minister, said: “The breadth and depth of teams signed up for the apprentice team of the year contest demonstrates the diversity of Apprenticeships now on offer – and the commitment of the country’s leading employers to hiring apprentices.

“Hiring apprentices helps businesses to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce and I look forward to hearing about the contribution the Brathay Apprentice Challenge teams make to their employers and their local communities.”

Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive of organisers, Brathay Trust, said: “With each year the calibre and number of teams competing increases making this year – our third – the toughest challenge yet. We look forward to welcoming the finalists once again to our headquarters in Ambleside for the grand final of the Challenge.

“The Brathay Apprentice Challenge showcases how apprentices earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future. While taking part apprentices are also gaining the benefits of an enhanced Apprenticeship, gaining skills such as team building and leadership which are key to a successful future.”