Category Archives: Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2015

#BAC15 Finalist Announcements


Hi all, Evie here,

Yesterday, Wednesday 20th May 2015 I attended the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2015 finalists announcement at the House of Commons, London.

House of Commons

Unfortunately out of the 100+ teams that entered the competition we weren’t one of the 8 that progressed through to the final round.

Although this result wasn’t what we were hoping for it doesn’t take away the hard work and improvements we have made over the past 4 months!

It has been a great experience and we have all improved important skills, that we can put to use in our personal and work life.

Thanks for following our journey!


The Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2015

Hi everyone, its Evie here,

As you know myself and another 8 apprentices from The Community Housing Group have been working hard over the past few months competing in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2015 #BAC15

Friday 10th April was the deadline for submitting our evidence for the different events we have organised and taken part in.

Taking part in #BAC15 seemed like a great idea to do what I enjoy – promoting apprenticeships, relaying my journey so far and helping out in the community!

Reflecting on the past few months I have realised how much I have continued to grow my skills, improving on my organisation and communication and meeting very tight deadlines along the way.

It has been tough going at times, to co-ordinate and bring together our dynamic of apprentices that have been involved in the challenge, but it was 100% worth it to see the difference we have made in such a short amount of time.

On Wednesday 20th May I’m heading down to London to find out if we’re through to the finals of the competition, so wish us luck!

Thanks for reading and following our #BAC15 journey.

Speak soon,



Revisiting Purcell House #BAC15

Hi, Abbey here.

Earlier this month when we completed our community project we discovered that the printer in the I.T room at Purcell House had broken.

We decided between us that it would be beneficial for the residents to have a printer and took it upon ourselves to buy them a new one.

Yesterday, Tuesday 31st March as promised we returned to Purcell House to deliver a new printer. The residents were extremely grateful, and after a quick information session from Charlie, the residents were well away printing off bus times and other useful information.

Printer Information Session

Thanks for reading,


Year 9 Baxter College Assembly #BAC15

Hey everyone, Will here,

Sorry about the lack of posts recently, we have all been working hard to get our submission together. This hasn’t stopped us from continuing our mission to raise the awareness of apprenticeships though!

Following the Baxter College Business Class event held at our head office we were asked by the pupils to supply them with more information on apprenticeships, so on Tuesday 24th March I delivered a short assembly to the year nine pupils at Baxter College, giving them information on the benefits of apprenticeships, the different apprenticeships that are available at TCHG and within the Wyre Forest area and the different ways you can apply for apprenticeship vacancies.

Although I was very nervous the school were extremely appreciative and we received excellent feedback from the pupils so it was defiantly worth doing!

Will Ward Yr 9 Assembly

More updates coming soon,


Worcester Skills Show #BAC15

Hi everyone, Its Chelsea here.

Today I am going to tell you about the Worcestershire skills show event we participated in on Wednesday 18th March.

The event was a huge success and a great opportunity to raise awareness of apprenticeships. Over 700 students attended, this gave us the opportunity to explain what apprenticeships are, what they entail and their benefits. Parents also attended the event; this was great because we were able to share the information with them and therefore raising awareness even more!

We had multiple stands, including a general apprenticeship information stand, an interactive Grounds Maintenance ‘pot your own plant’, a Carpentry ‘hit the nail in the wood’ competition and a gas rig stand where the aim was to solve the puzzle which would release the compressed air and shoot the ball.

The feedback we received from the pupils, parents and the event organisers was excellent, everyone who attended the event enjoyed taking part in the challenges and found them a real eye opener,

The interactive stands were a great hit as this enabled the pupils to find out information in a fun way.

Worcs Skills Show Event

In other news Will presented in a school assembly on Tuesday 24th March – More information on that coming soon.

Thanks for reading,


Community Engagement Project #BAC15

Hi guys Chelsea here again!

The Brathay Apprentice Challenge team members met at the Wyre Forest Sheltered Housing Scheme, Purcell House yesterday (Thursday 12th March) to complete our community engagement project.

We had a cake and coffee morning based around a ‘decorate your own cake’ theme. We also undertook a few tasks to improve the wellbeing of the tenants who live there.

Charlie our IT apprentice spent the morning in the IT room showing the tenants the basics of using the computers and helping them with anything they would like to know regarding IT.  This gave the residents a great opportunity to try out their new found skills.

Our 3 Grounds Maintenance Apprentices from Oakleaf Grounds Services were helping tenants plant vegetables into little pots for their flats. Whilst our 2 apprentices from Oakleaf Construction and Development built a raised planter box in the garden so the tenants can plant and look after their vegetables in there when the weather is better.

As well as the IT support they received and the grounds work that was completed we also built various pieces of garden furniture for their summer house, so they have somewhere nice to sit on a sunny day.

The morning went extremely well and the feedback we received was excellent, the tenants were very appreciative of the time we spent at Purcell House and the services we provided. As an added extra we have decided to donate a printer to the scheme as theirs has been broken for some time, this went down very well with the tenants. Here’s some pictures from the event;

community engagement project

community engagement project

community engagement project

Thanks for reading.

Take care,



Richard Lavelle and Reece Marchant Job Shadow #BAC15

On Tuesday 10th March 2015, Reece Marchant a pupil from Baxter College School, Kidderminster spent the day shadowing Richard Lavelle, Grounds Maintenance Apprentice.

Reece got first-hand experience during his day in the life of a Grounds Maintenance Apprentice and was keen to get stuck in and help Richard out.

Reece said this about his day “Spending the day with Richard was great because I got to help him tidy up the grounds in the local area. Its given me a good idea of what I want to do when I leave school”

Richard & Reese



Baxter College Event Feedback

Hey everyone, Abbey here;

On Monday 9th March 2015 I met with five of the pupils that attended our Careers event last week, to gain some feedback on the event and what we could do to help them understand Apprenticeships further.

The feedback we received was great; a lot of positives and the school were very appreciative of the hard work that went into organising and delivering the event.

What did you enjoy about the event?

We really liked that you could interact with the stands so it wasn’t just every stand giving you information you did get to have a go at different kinds of things. Also there was a good variety of activities and stands to visit. We also really enjoyed the Keepmoat Construction stand; it was good to work in a team to build something and also to win the prizes.

What could we do to improve the Event in the future?

Maybe include some interactive stands for office apprentices. There were a lot of different things to do for construction and grounds etc. but not much for the general apprentices. Also it would be good to have a bit more time on the interactive stands so everyone in the group gets to have a go at the activity.

We think we could still benefit from more detailed information about apprenticeships so we can understand what is it included and how to actually get an apprenticeship. Also the interactive stands were fun but maybe they could include a bit more information along with the activity.

Is there anything else we could do for you to help your understanding of apprenticeships? Perhaps we could revisit your school with some more information.

Yes that would be really helpful and you could help explain how we could go about applying for an apprenticeship and show us where the best place is to look for vacancies; also go into more detail about what the pros and cons are for apprenticeships.

Baxter Feedback

We’ve taken on board the feedback we received and are now organising a year 9 assembly. This will give us another opportunity to talk to the pupils about apprenticeships to give them more information as requested.

More updates on the different events and activities that are happening or have happened this week coming soon!

Thanks for reading,

Speak soon,


Harry Yates and Andy Snowden Job Shadow #BAC15

Andy Snowden, student at Baxter College has spent the day working with one of our Brathay Challenge team members Harry Yates. Andy has used this opportunity to get first-hand information from Harry about Apprenticeships as he is keen to start his career in Grounds Maintenance as an Apprentice when he finishes school.

Andy said this about his day with Harry “I don’t really like school and I find it hard to concentrate. Being out with Harry I’ve learnt so much more by being able to get involved and have a go, but I’ve now realised if I want to get an Apprenticeship then I need to knuckle down at school. Harry has given me advice on how he became an Apprentice and talked to me about his working day. I am pretty sure that this is what I want to do next”

Harry and Andy

Baxter College Business Class Event #BAC15

Hello everyone, well what a 24 hours it’s been!

Yesterday we held our Business Class, Baxter College Event which was a huge success!

The event involved 75 Year 9 students visiting The Community Housing Group’s Head Office in groups of 15 to find out about the Careers and Apprenticeships we have on offer.

The event started with a brief introduction and promotion of National Careers Week, along with what to expect from the day and the structure of the event.  Pupils were split into groups where they had the opportunity to visit a variety of interactive stands.  We had everything from ‘hitting the nail in the wood’ competition to ‘planting your own vegetables’ and having a go on a ‘falls response cushion’.

Keepmoat were also in attendance at our event and we hope in the future our partnership with Keepmoat will create further opportunities for apprentices in the construction industry.

The event proved to be extremely popular with the students, especially those that won prizes from the various competitions.  All the students were able to list three benefits of apprenticeships at the end of the event too.

We will be going back to Baxter College on Monday 9th March to catch up with the students and to get some feedback from the event.

See below pictures from the event;

Business Class

Business Class

P.s -Don’t forget our Community Project at Purcell House is exactly a week today – see you there!

Thanks for reading; catch up again soon.

Evie – Team Leader