The nine apprentices from Plymouth City Council, who have been taking part in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge have been announced as joint winners of the Brathay’s Community Project Award, for their orchard project in Ernesettle.
At the finals which were held at Lake Windermere, the team were also delighted to take second place in the overall competition.
This is the country’s official search for the apprentice team of the year, it is a gruelling seven-month Challenge against the country’s leading apprentice employers and training providers.
The team of apprentices from Plymouth City Council, came second in the finals of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge after raising over £3,300 for Epilepsy UK and creating a community orchard in Ernesettle.
Plymouth City Council Leader Councillor Tudor Evans said: “I am absolutely delighted for the team. They have worked incredibly hard and are fantastic ambassadors not only for apprenticeships but for also for the city. Over the last seven months our apprentices have demonstrated a wide array of skills, from planning and implementing, to team work and shown great determination. Their focus and dedication has been outstanding. I am proud to say that they work for Plymouth City Council.”
The Brathay Apprentice Challenge, the official search for the apprentice team of the year is supported by the National Apprenticeship Service and saw eight finalists raise over £41,000 for nine charities. In the past four years the Challenge has raised over £136,000 for charities across the country.
The logistical and team building finale held at Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters tested the teams individual and group strength mentally and physically. It also developed their leadership, team building and communication skills.
Apprentices from Plymouth City Council were named joint second place with Emfec Group and Pera Training and missed out on winning first place by Sellafield Ltd and Dale Power Solutions. Nottingham City Homes finished third with Redrow Homes, British Airways and HSBC also competing in the finals.
The eight finalists were selected from 50 teams and 700 apprentices who entered the Challenge. Since January, the competing teams have staged more than 300 school visits to talk about the benefits of apprenticeships, recruited over 100 employers and delivered 47 community projects.
The Challenge offers an enhanced apprenticeship as it test non-technical work skills and personal attributes of competing apprentices.
Team member Lee Bond, 25 a project management apprentice, at Plymouth City Council, said on coming second in the Challenge:
“We’ve had a great time working on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge. We’ve learnt so much and we’ve come so far from when we first put the team together. The whole team has worked really hard, not only in the last few days but throughout the whole Challenge.
“We’re thrilled to have got this far in the Challenge and knowing that we have made such an impact on our community while also showing young people the benefits of apprenticeships is a great feeling.”
Ken Holder, Senior Apprenticeship Co-ordinator, congratulated their apprentices and said:
“Apprenticeships are a vital part of our organisation and to see our apprentices earning second place in the search for the apprentice team of the year makes us all very proud. This is a huge achievement for both our organisation and the individuals involved.”
Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive of Brathay Trust, said:
“Plymouth City Council are great examples of how offering an enhanced Apprenticeship experience – by getting apprentices involved in corporate social responsibility projects or competitions – can benefit both apprentices and their companies. With the huge amount of participants this year, the country’s employers are proving they are committed to apprenticeships and their apprentices.”
Sue Husband, Director at the National Apprenticeship Service said:
“I want to congratulate all of the competitors in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge.
“All of the teams have shown the genuine difference an apprenticeship can make to give young people the chance to pursue a dream job as well as helping a business grow and increase its productivity.
“It is important that we work together to encourage even more businesses to offer apprenticeships so that we can reach our target of 3 million more apprenticeships in the next 5 years which will ensure Britain’s long term success, building a stronger economy and fairer society for this generation and the next.”