Team Northern Empower House battled off tough competition after proving their skills in logistical planning, teambuilding and communications. The Challenge culminated in a Grand Final presentation to an independent judging panel where teams demonstrated their accomplishments and offered an important perspective on sustaining apprenticeships in future.
The Balfour Beatty Brathay Apprentice Challenge is an interactive series of point earning outreach activities and team-building challenges to raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships to key strategic engagement targets of young people and educators. As part of the Challenge teams of final year Balfour Beatty apprentices attended careers fairs, gave presentations in schools, met with teachers and delivered a media campaign about the opportunities an apprenticeship can provide.
Acting as ambassadors for Balfour Beatty and their industry, teams were encouraged to think beyond traditional outreach to schools and focus on wider ranging groups including STEM students, BAME, young women, youth organisations and sports clubs in their regions. They brought their own stories to life and represented many different apprenticeships including Civil Engineering, Site Management, Business Administration, Quantity Surveying and Pipefitting.
The Challenge is designed to develop life-long career skills including leadership, project management, effective teamwork and public speaking as well as promoting vital messaging on the importance of apprenticeships for employers, educators and young people. As well as delivering profile raising activities in their regions, the teams also participated in a teambuilding challenge over three days in the Lake District at Brathay Trust. Throughout the Challenge all teams showed their commitment to the Balfour Beatty values of Energy, Excite, Empathise, Execute, Edge and Empower.
Tony Ellender, Emerging Talent Manager of Balfour Beatty said:
“We were inspired by the national Brathay Apprentice Challenge and it has been a pleasure to work with Brathay to adapt it to meet the needs of Balfour Beatty’s apprentices to develop their skills. As well as raising the apprentices’ capabilities the Challenge has also raised awareness of the immense opportunities available through apprenticeships both in Balfour Beatty and elsewhere. This direct interaction between existing apprentices and future apprentices is the best way to attract more talent into Balfour Beatty and the broader UK plc to meet our skills needs of the future.”
Sophie Wilson, Winning Team Leader and Quantity Surveyor apprentice said:
“The Balfour Beatty Brathay Apprentice Challenge has been an excellent opportunity for me and the team. It has encouraged us to carry out new challenges including engaging with school pupils in career fairs, presenting in assemblies and launching a media campaign to raise the awareness of apprenticeships. Over the last 9 months the Challenge has allowed us to develop our skills in team working, time management and leadership which we will all be able to take forward and use in our future careers with Balfour Beatty. We would all like to take this opportunity to thank Brathay and Balfour Beatty for their support and guidance throughout and also for the opportunity to partake in this valuable experience.”
Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive of Brathay Trust said:
“We were delighted to work with Balfour Beatty on this important project to support the sustainability of apprenticeships for their organisation and their industry. By participating in the Challenge, the apprentice teams developed vital employability skills in effective teamwork, creativity, strategic planning, problem solving, leadership and communications. Through their efforts in raising awareness they were outstanding examples of how an apprenticeship can launch a career and make a real difference to a young person, especially for those in hard to reach groups.”
Supporters of the Challenge providing materials and information included The 5% Club; an organisation of employers that aspire to achieve 5% of their workforce as apprentices, graduates on formalised training schemes or sponsored students, and the CCATF; Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force with the mission to champion the ethos and culture of training within the construction industry and to promote the benefits and value of hiring an apprentice.