What a great way to celebrate 80 years in business with apprentices from Dale Power Solutions Ltd, Scarborough jointly being named the National Apprentice Team of the Year 2015 following a gruelling seven-month Challenge against the country’s leading apprentice employers and training providers. The Brathay Apprentice Challenge, the official search for the Apprentice Team of the Year, is supported by the National Apprenticeship Service and saw eight finalists raise over £41,000 for nine charities. In the past four years the Challenge has raised over £136,000 for charities across the country. Dale Power Solutions raised more than £4,000 for Saint Catherine’s Hospice and completed a community project, which included refurbishing the Paxton Shelter in Scarborough’s South Cliff Garden. Their fundraising was achieved in various ways including activities for the Dale Power Solutions P1 Grand Prix of the Sea at the end of May. The refurbishment of the shelter built in 1865 has taken the former electricity substation back to its original use 150 years’ ago. This has been done in association with the Friends of South Cliff and Scarborough Borough Council. The shelter is soon to officially opened by the Mayor of Scarborough. Another important part of the Challenge is to engage with the local community about apprenticeships and to inform students in schools, colleges and other organisations about the benefits apprenticeships bring not only to the apprentice but the business as well. The team have participated in several events with Derwent Training Association, Nybep, and Women in Engineering as part of the Dale Corporate and Social Responsibility Strategy and The 5% Club commitment.
Brathay Apprentice Challenge National Apprentice Team of the Year – Dale Power Solutions, L to R, Rosie Roberts, Matt Tindall, Holly Barratt, Tom Hirst, Amber Rushworth, Darren Mills, Mike Coates, Jordan Legge, Alistair Jennings, Tyler Chapman and Rose Hardwick. The logistical and team building Finale held at Brathay Trust’s headquarters on the shores of Windermere tested the teams individual and group strength mentally and physically. It also developed their leadership, teambuilding and communication skills.
The Dale team also had to overcome two late retirees due to sporting injuries but their dedication and teamwork paid off as they came through a series of challenges and then to get over the finish line rowing the 9 strong team across a five mile course on Windermere. Dale Power Solutions and Sellafield Ltd narrowly beat Plymouth City Council and a team from Pera Training and Emfec Group into second place. Nottingham City Homes finished third with Redrow Homes, British Airways and HSBC also competing in the finals. Other teams who took part in this national competition included Ford Motor Company, Mondelez International, Rolls Royce, QinetiQ, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn and Virgin Media have also entered to try and earn the title of apprentice team of the year 2015.
The eight finalists were selected from 50 teams and 700 apprentices who entered the Challenge. Since January, the teams have staged more than 300 school visits to talk about the benefits of apprenticeships, recruited over 100 employers and delivered 47 community projects.
The Challenge offers an enhanced apprenticeship as it tests and develops the non-technical work skills and personal attributes of competing apprentices. Dale Power Solutions team member and apprentice, Mike Coates, 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” Tim Wilkins, Chief Executive of Dale Power Solutions, congratulated their apprentices and said: “Apprenticeships are a vital part of our organisation and to see our apprentices being crowned National Apprentice Team of the Year makes us all very proud. This is a fantastic achievement and perfect timing as Dale celebrates our 80th anniversary.” Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive of Brathay Trust, said: “Dale Power Solutions and Sellafield Ltd are a great examples 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.” Sue Husband, Director at the National Apprenticeship Service 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 that we can reach our target of 3 million more apprenticeships in the next 5 years which will ensure Britain’s long term success, building a stronger economy and fairer society for this generation and the next.”