The Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2017


What have the Tynemet apprentice team been doing to promote apprenticeships?

Our team of apprentices have been attending and hosting a number of employer engagement events such as The Get up and Go, Apprenticeship Levy event, and Showbiz event

They have also been going into High schools to chat to young people about apprenticeships. As well as hosting events at the college to give young people an opportunity to meet the staff and see the college facilities.


How has the team benefitted the lives of local young people within the community?

The team set up a community project collecting clothes for youngsters, which they donated to Tyne Gateway, who were very pleased with the donations and the chance to get more young adults involved in their future projects. Certainly, the charity was very eager to get the Sports apprentices involved in their venture to set up a football club. The charity has also made links with other apprentices who offered to volunteer their time in the future.


How has the challenge helped the apprentices improve their performance in the work place?

A few of the apprentices have been shadowing their employers to get a better understanding of their organisations. This has been a fantastic opportunity for them to gain a better insight into the roles of their mangers and industries, increasing their knowledge of the company. This has helped their performance at work as they have learned new skills and experienced tasks which they ordinarily wouldn’t. This will make them more capable in the future as they will be able to contribute more to their organisations.

Dhaiya also had the opportunity to meet Councillor Judith Wallace who has been showing support for the challenge by allowing Dhaiya to shadow her for an afternoon. This was a fantastic way to get a better understanding of government and the life of a Politian.


How has the challenge benefitted the apprentice’s employers?

The apprentices have been actively trying to get media coverage throughout the challenge; this has been great for the companies they represent as they have had extra publicity outside of their businesses.

Indeed, Dhaiya had the experience of appearing on Koast Radio’s Mind Your Own Business Show with Ian Conway to promote the team’s community project and chat about apprenticeships. This was fantastic as the interview was almost an hour long and mentions everything about apprenticeships. This is still available to listen to on Mixcloud.

The team’s achievements were also featured in regional papers.


Matthew Leadbeatter Team Mentor shares his views on the challange

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my role as our team’s mentor in the 2017 Brathay Apprentice Challenge. It has been fabulous to watch the team coming together and engaging with the local community by raising the profile of apprenticeships, and delivering a community project that benefitted a local children’s charity. Our team was made up of apprentices from a wide range of industries, however they blended nicely and each contributed as much as they possibly could. Naturally, due to work commitments some were able to contribute more than others, and so as team mentor I relied on these individuals more heavily. I would like to thank each member of the team for everything they contributed. I feel their work was of great benefit to the local community as hundreds of young people discovered more about apprenticeships, and of course Tyne Gateway benefitted through our donation of children’s clothes. I am also delighted with the publicity our team created for Tyne Metropolitan College, Kier and our other employers. I hope that the legacy of our challenge is an ever increasing demand for apprenticeships in the local area over the coming months and years. Well done to everyone involved”


Lewis gives us his opinions of the challenge

“I believe that the Brathay challenge has given me the opportunity to connect with people in a similar position to me, as apprentices. I have gained new skills such as project management and leadership.

I have grown in confidence while working towards the project as communication is such a key aspect, as we all work in a range of different businesses. I believe Brathay is an excellent way to assist those in an apprenticeship towards enhancing their key strengths and working together, as the possibilities of what you can achieve as a team are endless.

We had to come up with a community project to provide clothes to those young people who may struggle with poverty. We completed a clothes collection from Kier North Tyneside and Tyne Metropolitan College. We then donated these clothes to Tyne Gateway, which will benefit the people they support massively.

I hope we have raised awareness of apprenticeships in North Tyneside, as all of the team members have studied at the leading college in North Tyneside, Tynemet College. It has been interesting to work on a project with a range of different people, with different skills and ideas.

I was nominated to travel down to the House of Commons in London to celebrate our Brathay project with the other teams involved from nationally across the UK. Unfortunately, we missed out on the North East regional team to a business in Nottingham. We as a team still celebrated out success in delivering an excellent community project and we are so proud of everything we have achieved. To compete with some very well-known businesses across the UK, we are proud that a college from the North East has been able to have this experience along with those larger industries.”


Dhaiya shares her view of the challenge

“The Brathay challenge has been a very educational experience for me, as I had the chance to put my skills to good use; it was fantastic to be so busy. I immensely enjoyed organising and booking events for the team to both attend and host.

This enhanced my project and time management skills, as I had to constantly keep the portfolio updated. Whilst keeping my team updated on the events I was planning, so they could tell me if they would be available. I also had to contact and liaise with employers and schools.

The events I attended and set up developed my communication skills, as I had to present at assemblies to year groups, as well as to smaller groups. This has given me the confidence to approach young people. I also learned how to effectively network at events and build contacts by approaching new employers.

As part of the challenge I also had to arrange media coverage, this has given me the knowledge of how to approach the media with a story and write a press release, which I feel will benefit me in the future. I have also learned how to approach radio broadcasters, indeed, I was lucky enough to be invited onto a regional show for an interview. This was a fantastic experience, as I had the opportunity to spread the word about apprenticeships.

I also had the chance to shadow my manager during the challenge; this gave me the chance to learn more about Tynemet as an organisation. This has given me a better understanding of the trainers, business development department and senior management.

I also met Judith Wallace a local councillor; this was very inspiring, as I had the opportunity to find out about her route into politics and the role of the council. This certainly gave me an insight into the needs of our region at the moment.

It was also great to be involved in the community project, as I feel the donations we have given to Tyne Gateway will make a big impact, towards improving the lives of young people who are less fortunate.

I was also chosen alongside Lewis and Ellen to visit the Houses of Parliament, this was very exciting and it was interesting to hear from the other teams that have been partaking in the challenge.

Ultimately, I think the Brathay challenge has been a fabulous opportunity to meet other apprentices form different roles and backgrounds.  Because of our work based roles apprentices do not always attend college, therefore we were able to draw from each other’s talents to archive the most.”


Ellen shares her opinion of the challenge

“I think that taking part in the Brathay Apprenticeship Challenge has allowed me to develop my awareness of the local community and how us as a group made a difference to help those who were less fortunate than ourselves. Also it has helped me to develop my organisational skills as we needed to agree to and organise when to carry out events and communicate with our employers.

Overall I enjoyed the experience of visiting the House of Commons as it made me realise how important taking part in the challenge was not only for the community but for ourselves as individuals”


Andrea Gibson Learning & Development Consultant at Kier shares her view on the challenge

"From my perspective – it was great to get involved with Tyne Met for this initiative.  Both of our organisations are fully committed to the development of and in supporting apprentices across the sector and this challenge has been a great opportunity to partner with one of our lead training providers.  It’s been great to see the apprentices working together in terms of activities and events and I was especially proud of what they all achieved in the community challenge.  The collection and donation of good quality children’s clothing to Tyne Gateway Trust made a difference to a number of families who rely on the support of the charity to help them with their families; to be able to and to help means a great deal.

I believe that the Brathay Team 2017 have showcased the very best of what an apprentice can bring to an organisation, what they offer in terms of their skills and vibrancy and how we all should look at apprenticeships as a commitment to the development of our future workforce and community of the future.

Kier North Tyneside are proud that the team achieved success and were able to take part in the regional finalist event at the House of Commons.  For those involved on the 17th May – what a great achievement to add to their CV’s.

We look forward to next year’s opportunity – watch out Brathay – the North East is coming to get you – yes the real North East."










Published: 23-05-2017