The Brathay Apprentice Challenge' is the official search to find the Best Apprentice team of the year. It is organised by the Brathay Trust and supported by the ‘National Apprenticeship Service’. The challenge is a key part of the new era for Apprenticeships, demonstrating the huge contribution Apprentices make to the success of their organisations. The first two rounds consist of raising the profile of Apprenticeships and staging a community project.
Why did you decide to get involved in this?
We decided to get involved in this challenge to demonstrate the opportunities that apprenticeships can give to young people and to show them that there is more than one route to take after school! It gives us the opportunity to showcase apprenticeships and highlight them to our local area and beyond. We also want to show that with the training and development we recieve on our 4 year programme that we can take responsibility for the apprentice challenge and win the title 'Best apprentice team of the year'.
What are you doing to raise the profile of apprenticeships?
All apprentices in the team are taking part in various activities to raise the profile of apprenticeships. Since the challenge has started we have conducted over 15 school career events/presentations, 2 MP visits to the Lostock site, been to several award evenings, created posters/business cards/badges, held mock interviews, had full page spreads in local news papers and the guardian, one apprentice has been on ITV Daybreak speaking about apprenticeships and conducted a speech in the House of Lords, we have been on local radio stations with local school kids and recently been to the Houses of Parliament meeting our Local where we sat in a debate in the House of Commons on Apprenticeships during National Apprenticeship Week 2013.
We are also gathering as much support as possible on social networking sites;
Twitter: Lostock - @MBDA_BAC13 Stevenage - @MBDAStevenageAp
Facebook: Lostock - MBDA-BAC13 Stevenage - MBDA Stevenage Apprentices
Could you tell me a little bit about the community project you're undertaking please? How much of your time is this taking, what are your activities etc?
The Lostock team have chosen to run a workshop for Kidz2gether, a local group that support children with autism by throwing sports and activities days for them. We are running 2 workshops. One on Monday 18th March 2013 which is aimed at children from ages 5-11 year olds. We will be taking with us a kit to allow them to design and create their own badges and to create and take part in the glider challenge. The second sitting is Monday 25th March. This session is aimed at kids 11-16 year olds; they will also be given the opportunity to make their own badges, take part in the glider challenge and will also be given an experience to solder two boards designed and created by the apprentices to give them a taster into engineering. These activity groups give autistic children in the local area a chance to come to a place outside of school and interact with other people which without these groups would be difficult for them.
The Stevenage team have chosen Crossroads care; a scheme that offers support and allows respite for carers who look after a relative or friend who are ill, frail, disabled or have a mental health or substance misuse problems.
What skills are you using/gaining from this experience?
Throughout the Challenge each individual member of each team will demonstrate the same work skills that will be required to be successful in and for their organisations and progress their careers. These are the same skills that are valued by employers as the key to their success.
Clear communication will be needed to ensure that all team members are aware of this and that they have ownership and responsibility for this. Like the workplace, it is likely that events may require the plan to slip, adapt or even be completely rethought, how the teams deal with this will impact upon their success. Time management is also key to allow the teams to rally as much support as possible and to complete the challenge having done as much as we can to raise the profile of apprenticeships. Through self-reflection the team members will assess their own performance and how they get their needs met and voice heard.
What have the highlights of this challenge been?
Highlights of this challenge have been the recognition we have managed to achieve so far in raising the positive profile of apprenticeships and the help and support we have recieved from our local community.