Brathay Apprentice Challenge Q & A

Do you have the Apprentice Team of the year?

Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2017 Q&A

Please see below for details of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2017.  

What is the Brathay Apprentice Challenge?

The Brathay Apprentice Challenge (#BAC17) is the search for the apprentice team of the year, supported by the National Apprenticeship Service.

How do teams enter?

Now in its sixth year, the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2017 is currently underway. If you are interested in entering in 2018, please email us and we will keep you up to date.

To see what it took UK Atomic Energy Authority to be crowned apprentice team of the year 2016 and for more information visit

The key dates for the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2017 are:

17 November                          Registration opens     

16 December                          Team registration closes at 12.00 midnight

3 January                                Team member details submitted by 17.00

6 January                                Regional Heats commence and toolkit issued

26 April                                    Regional Heats portfolio submitted by 12.00 noon

Mid May                                   National Finalists announced

Late May                                  National Finals commence

12 – 15 June                           Logistical and Team Building Finale at Brathay Trust

14 June                                   Apprentice team of the year 2017 announced

Please note these dates may be subject to change; prior notification will be given to all teams.

How many people are needed for a team?

To enter the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, teams should comprise of nine apprentices. Teams can be made from a single employer, a group of small businesses, an industry, supply chain or training provider.  All teams also need a mentor.  The mentor’s role is to support the team by providing facilitation, pastoral support and some initial structure to help the team get started and stay on track, and should not provide any additional assistance that could be perceived as more than support and guidance. The mentor is not an apprentice.

Do all the team members need to be apprentices?

Yes, all nine team members need to be apprentices and must be based in England on either:

SASE (Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England) - which sets out the minimum requirements to be included in a recognised English apprenticeship framework (the full specification, information and guidance at

Or the apprentice must be working towards achieving an approved apprenticeship standard or apprenticeship framework

Is there a limit to the number of teams an employer can enter?

There is not a limit to the number of teams that can be entered per organisation or group; teams can represent an employer, group of small businesses, industry, supply chain or training provider.  

What do teams have to do?

Initially, all teams have to complete a registration form at

Registration closes 12.00 midnight 16 December 2016.  Following registration all teams will be required to submit team member details by 17.00 on 3 January 2016. 

The Regional Heats take place from 6 January to 26 April 2017 and consist of two elements:

1)    Awareness raising activity:  Teams will conduct extensive awareness raising of their entry into the Challenge to recruit more employers to offer apprenticeships and to promote the benefits of apprenticeships in local schools, colleges and community groups.

2)    Community project:  A community project to benefit young people where the teams use their skills to help in their local area.

The teams’ regional activity will be assessed according to clearly set out judging criteria. Eight National Finalists will be announced in May at the House of Commons.

The National Finals consist of

  • Further profile raising activity
  • Logistical and Team Building Finale

Further details will be announced to National Finalists

Participation in the four day Logistical and Team Building Finale taking place at Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters from 12 to 15 June 2017.

The 2017 apprentice team of the year will be announced on 14 June 2017 with the National Finalist teams’ performances having been judged based on clearly defined criteria.

Do teams have to pay to enter?

The Brathay Apprentice Challenge is currently sponsored by the Skills Funding Agency and is free for teams to enter.

How many teams will go through to the National Finals?

Eight teams will go through to the National Finals, and will be announced in May 2017 at the House of Commons.

Why should employers enter a team of apprentices?

Evidence from the last five years demonstrates that employers and training providers see significant benefits:

Apprentices gain team building, leadership, logistical and communication skills and have an enhanced apprenticeship experience. Apprentices also benefit by becoming more confident, more aware of their own capabilities and ultimately more employable.

  • Improved skills among the apprentice teams and increased local profile of their organisations through positive Corporate Social Responsibility opportunities and media coverage.
  • Additional business networking opportunities and engagement with local government officials.
  • Important information about the benefits of apprenticeships delivered directly by the apprentices to schools, employers and local communities.

New for the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2017, we have partnered with the City & Guilds Group to offer apprentices the chance to take part in a full day endorsed training session through their Apprentice Connect programme. The training session will help prepare apprentices with the skills that they need to complete the Challenge successfully and boost their careers.  The City & Guilds Group help people, organisations and economies develop skills for growth.

What learning do the teams get out of entering the Challenge?

Throughout the Brathay Apprentice Challenge the individual members of each team will need to demonstrate the same work skills that will be required to be successful in their organisations and to progress their careers. These are the same skills that are valued by employers regardless of industry or size as the key to their success. We will provide toolkits and guidance to the teams with the aim that the skills apprentices learn in the Challenge will stay with them throughout their careers.

The Challenge will require a careful planning approach, the definition of clear goals for the team as well as team leadership, definition of roles and management of resources ensuring that they have all the equipment and people in the right place at the right time. 

Clear communication will be needed to ensure that all team members are working together with ownership and responsibility for specific areas of the Challenge.  Like the workplace it is likely that the teams’ plans may need to be updated and changed, adapted or even completely rethought. How the teams deal with this will have an impact upon their success.  Clear judging criteria will be provided for every stage.

What is required of teams completing the Logistical and Team Building Finale at Brathay Trust’s headquarters?

The eight National Finalists participate in a four day Logistical and Team Building Finale at Brathay’s Windermere headquarters from 12 – 15 June 2017. More information will be available to the eight National Finalists.

Can teams that have previously entered the Brathay Apprentice Challenge re-enter?

Organisations that have previously entered the Brathay Apprentice Challenge are welcome to enter again this year.  However, individual apprentices that have been in any previous National Final cannot be submitted as part of a team again.

How do you guarantee that the Challenge is assessed fairly?

All teams work to identical briefs and are provided with the same guidelines. All teams are provided with a password protected individual team portal enabling them to submit and upload their materials securely. The Challenge is assessed by independent experts and a judging panel using clearly defined scoring criteria.

BAC The World BlackBAC Eyes On The Prize WhiteBAC Script Black