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15 June - Nine apprentices from WSP battled hard at the finals of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge – the search for the apprentice team of the year.


Following a testing five-month Challenge, WSP apprentices competed against teams from the country’s leading apprentice employers and training providers. The team proved their logistical, team building and communications skills throughout the five-month Challenge which culminated in a final event at Brathay Trust’s Windermere Headquarters.

The Brathay Apprentice Challenge, the search for the apprentice team of the year is supported by the National Apprenticeship Service. In 2017, teams reached over 70,000 young people to raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships and recruited over 500 new employers interested in offering apprenticeships. 

GlaxoSmithKline took the title of apprentice team of the year with Nottingham City Homes coming second and JCB coming third. In addition to WSP, teams from Derwent Training Association, IBM, Redrow Homes and Severn Trent Water also competed in the National Finals.

The total of eight National Finalists were selected from 75 teams and 650 apprentices who entered the Challenge. Since January, the teams have worked hard to spread the word about apprenticeships and have visited more than 555 schools, careers fairs and youth groups to encourage young people to consider an apprenticeship.  The apprentice teams have also reached out to their local communities and delivered 44 community projects to benefit young people.

Team leader, Edward Joynson a civil engineering apprentice from Manchester said:

“We’ve enjoyed the experience of competing in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, we’ve grown as a team and moulded into one. We’ve overcome some genuinely big challenges as individuals and as a group to get to the finals and pleased to have done so well.”

Emily Mahoney, Leaning and Development Specialist at WSP, congratulated their apprentices and said: 

“I’m so proud of what the team has achieved in reaching the finals of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge. The team has grown so much in the last six months and they’ve all learned invaluable skills that will help them grow in their roles here at WSP.”

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

“Congratulations to WSP and to all of the teams that have taken part in this year’s Challenge. Together they have shown the genuine difference an apprenticeship can make. The new skills and the new experiences these apprentices have gained in the Challenge will add to the opportunity apprenticeships provide to earn while you learn, as well as helping the employer grow and increase its productivity.

“The hard work the teams have put into the Challenge has made real differences to their communities, the next generation of young people thinking about their careers and encouraged more employers to take on apprentices. 

“They are great ambassadors for apprenticeships.”

Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive of Brathay Trust, said:

“All the teams are great examples of how offering an enhanced apprenticeship experience can benefit both apprentices and their organisations. All of the apprentices that have taken part this year have gained teambuilding, leadership, logistical and communication skills.  It has been a pleasure to host the Brathay Apprentice Challenge and watch these apprentices develop into outstanding employees.”

For more information on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge and to see a list of all teams entered visit brathay.com/challenge.

Notes to editors

For media enquiries please contact Amelie Barrau on 07469402484 or amelie.barrau@wsp.com 

WSP is one of the world's leading engineering professional services consulting firms. We are dedicated to our local communities and propelled by international brainpower. We are technical experts and strategic advisors including engineers, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals. We design lasting solutions in the Property & Buildings, Transportation & Infrastructure, Environment, Industry, Resources (including Mining and Oil & Gas) and Power & Energy sectors as well as project delivery and strategic consulting services.

With 7,000 talented people in the UK (including Mouchel Consulting) and 36,000 globally, we engineer projects that will help societies grow for lifetimes to come. WSP has been involved in many high profile UK projects including the Shard, Crossrail, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Manchester Metrolink, M1 Smart Motorway, the re-development of London Bridge Station, and the London Olympic & Paralympic Route Network. www.wsp.com/uk

The Brathay Apprentice Challenge

The Brathay Apprentice Challenge (#BAC17) is the search for the apprentice team of the year, supported by the National Apprenticeship Service. To win the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, teams undertake a series of exciting and interactive work-related challenges to develop new skills and showcase their employer by engaging with young people and businesses to promote the benefits of apprenticeships. The challenges are designed to ensure that the teams demonstrate their team building, leadership, logistical and communications abilities. Teams of nine apprentices can be from a single employer, a group of small businesses, an industry, supply chain or training provider. With teams working together on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, the apprentices and employers benefit from an enhanced apprenticeship experience.

To find out more visit brathay.com/challenge



Amelie Barrau
Amelie Barrau PR Manager
+44 20 7314 5000
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