Balfour Beatty Brathay Apprentice Challenge: Apprentice Team Of The Year 2019 Announced

After a testing 6-month series of challenges with teams of Balfour Beatty apprentices competing across the UK, the winners were awarded at a Grand Final ceremony in London.

The ‘EDGEcating the South’ Team of six apprentices, representing the Southern & London region, has been crowned the Balfour Beatty Apprentice Team of the Year 2019. The team was led by Taylor Ryan, Apprentice Civil Engineer working on the Thames Tideway Project, along with Rhys Collings, Civil Engineering Apprentice/Site Engineer - Major Projects, Adam Hoole, Apprentice Civil Engineer - Major Projects, Claude Bromley, Apprentice Electrician – Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick, Jack Fletcher - Apprentice Site Engineer, Highways, and Ben Rogers - Assistant Quantity Surveyor, Regional South. As well as earning the highest cumulative score from all the challenges combined, they impressed the judges with a Grand Final presentation offering an analysis of their region in relation to sustaining and growing apprenticeships in future.

"Being in the Challenge has been an amazing experience for our team - we’ve all grown in confidence and discovered skills we didn’t know we had. It was a great opportunity to represent Balfour Beatty and raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships, especially to young people in our region and to our supply chain. Everything we have accomplished, from team-building in the Lake District to presenting at The Royal Society, completely surpassed all our expectations.”
- Team Leader Taylor Ryan

Additional awards on the day were:

The Highest Achievers – Engagement Activities Award to the Northern Empowerment Team representing Scotland & the North region. Led by Team leader Lydia O-Hare - Trainee Quantity Surveyor, Gas & Water, this team attended the most awareness raising events to promote the benefits of apprenticeships and engaged with over 1200 recipients.

This was followed by the Outstanding Performance in Teambuilding Award to the Collaborate RelEDGEously Team representing the Midlands, for their performance in a three-day teambuilding challenge at Brathay in the Lake District. Led by Team Leader Megan Bloxham – Customer Engagement Office, Gas & Water, this team excelled in leadership, teamwork, communications, planning and performing under pressure, earning the highest score in this category.

The Balfour Beatty Brathay Apprentice Challenge

#BBBAC19 is an interactive series of point earning outreach activities, communications and teambuilding challenges to raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships to key strategic engagement targets for Balfour Beatty. 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.

"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.”

Tony Ellender, Emerging Talent Development Manager of Balfour Beatty

As a result of the Challenge, apprentices have engaged with over 6,000 people in target audiences that are key to the sustainability of Balfour Beatty apprenticeships. They met with young people and educators, youth organisations and diverse groups, supply chain employers, and Balfour Beatty employees looking to up-skill their qualifications through an apprenticeship.

Acting as ambassadors for Balfour Beatty and their industry, the regional 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. They attended careers fairs, gave presentations in schools, met with teachers and delivered a communications campaign about the opportunities an apprenticeship can provide.

Additionally, the teams hosted information seminars and conducted site visits to engage with all levels of Balfour Beatty colleagues to raise awareness of the opportunities available for further qualifications through levy funded apprenticeships and higher apprenticeships.

They also hosted events with managers and business owners in the Balfour Beatty supply chain to encourage the employment of apprentices and to demonstrate with their own case studies the positive impact apprentices can provide for businesses.

As well as delivering an impressively wide range of engagement activities, the teams battled it out even further in team-building and presentation challenges. All teams attended a residential at Brathay Trust’s headquarters in the Lake District where they were tasked with challenges to prove how well their team performed together in logistical planning, problem solving, innovation, leadership, decision making, negotiation, public speaking and communications.

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.

For more information on the Balfour Beatty Brathay Apprentice Challenge please contact:

Linda Stone, Business Development Lead - Emerging Talent or call on 015394 39700