Apprentices from North East vying for national crown

Teams of apprentices from North East firms have signed up to take part in this year's Brathay Apprentice Challenge

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Apprentices from the North East will compete in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014

Teams of apprentices from North East companies have signed up to take part in a national challenge.

The Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014 is now under way with over 110 teams consisting of more than 1,000 apprentices entered from across England into the contest to be crowned the apprentice team of the year.

A number of organisations from the North East have put forward teams to battle it out in this year’s challenge including Durham County Council, Marriot Hotels and Resort, Asian Business Connexions and Sage (UK) Ltd.

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. Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock 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.”

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

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.

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.”

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