Pepsico with their team mentor and employer representative
Nine apprentices from PepsiCo have been named the country’s official ‘apprentice team of the year’ following a grueling six month challenge against the country’s leading apprentice employers and training providers.
The team, made up of apprentices from Coventry, Leicester and Skelmersdale, fought off tough competition from seven other teams after raising almost £7,000 for Cancer Research UK and completing their community project which involved transforming the pond, allotment & garden area of Barleycroft School in Leicester.
The eight finalists raised over £30,000 for eight 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 PepsiCo narrowly beat QinetiQ into second place, with British Airways and e2v Technologies who finished joint third.
Teams from Oxley Developments, 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 that 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 and engineering apprentice, Sam Kelly, said on winning the Challenge:
“It’s difficult to describe just what winning the ‘apprentice team of the year’ title means. The whole team has worked really hard, not only in the last few days but throughout the whole Challenge – and we’ve had huge support from our colleagues, our families and friends.
“We hope that winning the title will aid in our efforts to inspire young people and promote apprenticeships. Hard work, determination and self-confidence are key in success. We also hope that young people can use our journey as a lesson for themselves.”
Matt Freeland, HR Director at PepsiCo UK, congratulated their apprentices and said: “Apprenticeships are a vital part of our organisation and to see our apprentices being crowned ‘apprentice team of the year’ makes us all very proud. This is a huge achievement for both our organisation and the individuals involved.”
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:
“PepsiCo 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.”