GSK Crowned Apprentice Team Of The Year

Nine apprentices from GSK Ulverston have been named the apprentice team of the year, following a testing five-month Challenge that saw them compete against teams from the country’s leading apprentice employers and training providers.

The GSK apprentices battled off tough competition from seven other National Finalist teams after proving their logistical, team building and communications skills. As part of the Challenge the team also delivered a community project, which involved creating a series of four short films about the dangers of asthma attacks. The films were made in memory of a little boy, Joshua West who had a fatal asthma attack. The team went on to show the films in schools and sports clubs.

The Brathay Apprentice Challenge, the search for the apprentice team of the year is supported by the National Apprenticeship Service. In 2017, teams reached over 70,000 young people to raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships and recruited over 500 new employers interested in offering apprenticeships.

GSK narrowly beat Nottingham City Homes into second place and JCB who finished third. Teams from Derwent Training Association, IBM, Redrow Homes, Severn Trent Water and WSP also competed in the National Finals.

The total of eight National Finalists were selected from 75 teams and 650 apprentices who entered the Challenge. Since January, the teams have worked hard to spread the word about apprenticeships and have visited more than 555 schools, careers fairs and youth groups to encourage young people to consider an apprenticeship. The apprentice teams have also reached out to their local communities and delivered 44 community projects to benefit young people.

Team member and engineering apprentice, Joseph Hambley said on winning the Challenge:
“I am happy for me, happy for my team and happy for my employer. It is a great honour for all of us to have won the title apprentice team of the year and have our hard work recognized.”

Phil Wilson, Site Director at GSK Ulverston, congratulated their apprentices and said:
“What an amazing achievement. I am so very proud of the full team. We have watched them be stretched and grow throughout the Challenge.

“The highlight was seeing them develop from being all about the Challenge and winning it to being about making a major contribution to the community in raising awareness of asthma and helping save lives. This is a great recognition of the Joshua West legacy.”

Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said:
“Congratulations to GSK on being crowned the 2017 apprentice team of the year and to all of the teams that have taken part in this year’s Challenge. Together they have shown the genuine difference an apprenticeship can make. The new skills and the new experiences these apprentices have gained in the Challenge will add to the opportunity apprenticeships provide to earn while you learn, as well as helping the employer grow and increase its productivity.

“The hard work the teams have put into the Challenge has made real differences to their communities, the next generation of young people thinking about their careers and encouraged more employers to take on apprentices.

“They are great ambassadors for apprenticeships.”

Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive of Brathay Trust, said:
“GSK are a great example of how offering an enhanced apprenticeship experience can benefit both apprentices and their organisations. All of the apprentices that have taken part this year have gained teambuilding, leadership, logistical and communication skills. It has been a pleasure to host the Brathay Apprentice Challenge and watch these apprentices develop into outstanding employees.”

For more information on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge and to see a list of all teams entered

Notes to editors:
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Sarah Colombini: / 077 3146 2451 Simon / 077 3848 7259

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.

To win the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, teams undertake a series of exciting and interactive work-related challenges to develop new skills and showcase their employer by engaging with young people and businesses to promote the benefits of apprenticeships.

The challenges are designed to ensure that the teams demonstrate their team building, leadership, logistical and communications abilities.

Teams of nine apprentices can be from a single employer, a group of small businesses, an industry, supply chain or training provider.

With teams working together on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, the apprentices and employers benefit from an enhanced apprenticeship experience.

To find out more visit

The National Apprenticeship Service
The National Apprenticeship Service supports the delivery of apprenticeships and traineeships in England. It offers free impartial advice and support to employers looking to recruit for the first time or expand their programme. This includes simplifying the process of recruiting an apprentice or trainee through the support of employer focused teams and Find an apprenticeship and Find a traineeship recruitment sites on GOV.UK where employers can advertise their vacancies and potential apprentices or trainees can apply.

Call 08000 150 600 or search for apprenticeships on GOV.UK to find out more.

Brathay Trust
Brathay has been a leader in experience-based learning since its inception as an educational trust in 1946.

Brathay specialises in the design and delivery of bespoke people and organisation development programmes dedicated to the development of apprentices, graduates, teams, and emerging talent, as well as organisational development, engaging change, and leadership programmes.

By creating learning experiences that relate to the workplace, participants are able to fully understand behaviours and their impact on individual and group performance. The focus is on exploring skills such as communication, leadership styles, teamwork, and logistical planning. Programmes are aligned with company values and tailored to specific roles within an organisation, using their language.

Working nationally and internationally, Brathay’s qualified facilitators deliver programmes at company premises, appointed venues and at Brathay’s headquarters; a 360-acre estate on the shores of Windermere in the Lake District.

Brathay’s extensive client portfolio includes a wide range of large and medium sized corporations, as well as numerous County Councils, government funded agencies, Fire & Rescue Services, universities, local governments, social enterprises and schools.

By selecting Brathay as a provider, organisations demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility. All profits generated through Brathay’s people and organisation development programmes are used to benefit Brathay Trust – an educational charity which is committed to the personal and social development of over 7,000 young people in the UK each year.

For more information about the people and organisation development services of Brathay Trust contact

Linda Stone, Business Development Manager
015394 39700