A GROUP of Vale youngsters have taken a step closer to becoming the apprentice team of the year after they scooped a regional award.
The team of nine South Worcestershire College students were one of just eight teams out of about 100 to make it through to the final of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014.
Beating off competition including Lloyds Bank and Texaco, the Evesham based team came top in the central region category and third in the country overall.
Beth Holloway, team leader, said: “It was a big shock, we couldn’t believe it, we didn’t think we’d get through let alone win the central and come third in the country. It’s such an achievement.
“It was really unbelievable and I think we’re just overwhelmed by it. Considering South Worcestershire college is the smallest in the country to win something like that is such a big achievement.”
The students were rewarded for their fund-raising event for High Street organisation ‘You-Turn’, where they helped refurbish the entrance and reception room, and their ability to raise awareness of apprenticeships on a regional scale.
Beth, an apprentice at Honeybourne firm Budget Skips, attended an awards ceremony at the House of Commons to pick up their prize.
The final of the competition kicked off on Wednesday (April 16) and will see youngsters further their fund-raising and team-building credentials. The winners will be announced on June 9.
The 18-year-old admitted her group were unsure on the chosen charity they will help in the next stage but believes the competition will draw more interest next year, after just one team was registered from the Vale this time around.
“We need to raise £500 for the Brathay Trust and money for a charity, so we would look at doubling or tripling that figure there,” she added.
“Our preference is we would rather support a local charity than a national, so we are going to keep it close to Evesham and our area.
“Locally, it will be more recognised next year, it’s not really recognised in our area at the moment but I think to do this in the first year was impressive so I think they’ll definitely do it again and get a few more teams.”