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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Oxley apprentices from Ulverston fought hard in challenge WITH VIDEO

NINE apprentices from Oxley Developments in Ulverston narrowly missed out on a top three position in the search for the official ‘apprentice team of the year’.

The team, which is part of Barrow Engineering Projects, was competing against seven other teams and raised almost £2,500 for the Ulverston Inshore Rescue.

The eight finalists raised over £30,000 for 8 charities as well as holding school talks and media interviews to explain how Apprenticeships enable young people to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future.

Supported by the National Apprenticeship Service, the Brathay Apprentice Challenge tests non-technical work skills and the personal attributes of competing apprentices.

The final stage, held at Brathay Trust’s headquarters on the banks of Lake Windermere saw Oxley narrowly miss out on a top three spot to winners PepsiCo, second place QinetiQ and joint third place e2v Technologies and British Airways. Teams from Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn, South Worcestershire College and Virgin Media also competed in the finals.

The two-day long adventure finale in Ambleside tested the teams’ problem solving and physical abilities, culminating in a whaler boat race, across Lake Windermere which pushed the teams’ strength and teamwork to the limit.

The eight finalists were selected from over 110 teams and 1000 apprentices who entered the competition. Since January, the competitors have staged more than 360 school visits to talk about the benefits of Apprenticeships and delivered 60 community projects. In the finals, the teams also recruited over 50 new businesses to offer Apprenticeships.

Team member, Nick Turner, said: “Just getting to the final and beating off more than 100 other teams was an achievement and we’re proud to have represented our company in the finals. The Challenge was really tough and the other teams really pushed us to our limits. We’re so proud of how far we have come and the experiences we have gained not just at the finals but throughout the whole six months.”

Martin Blakstad, Oxley Group CEO congratulated the apprentices on competing in the Challenge and said: “Apprenticeships are a vital part of our organisation and to see our apprentices perform so well in the apprentice team of the year competition makes us all very proud. We employ nine apprentices across the business, recruiting & developing talented apprentices in key engineering roles enables Oxley to stay at the forefront of technology, delivering high quality products for our customers.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "I want to congratulate the winners and all of the competitors in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge.

"Together they 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 we can ensure Britain's long term success, building a stronger economy and fairer society for this generation and the next."

Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive of Brathay Trust, said: “Oxley Developments are a great example 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.”

To find out about Apprenticeships visit apprenticeships.org.uk or call 08000 150 600.

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