A team of Hartlepool apprentices are in the running to win a national award

Some of the apprentices who helped give Changing Futures a makeover presented with a certificate.
Some of the apprentices who helped give Changing Futures a makeover presented with a certificate.

A team of Hartlepool apprentices who helped give a community centre a new lease of life are in the running for a national award.

Nine apprentices from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) Surge and Rapid Response Team in Hartlepool have been named as one of eight national finalists in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge for the apprentice team of the year.

We have been able to make a positive impact on our local community while also becoming closer as a team

Apprentice Sam Tulip

It is in recognition of their work in renovating Changing Futures North East community centre in Abbey Street on the Headland.

As part of the challenge, the HMRC team of apprentices organised a community project which involved planning, designing and refurbishing a youth room at Changing Futures North East community centre.

They also visited schools and youth groups to talk about the benefits of apprenticeships and hosted business breakfasts to encourage more employers to offer apprenticeships with interest from 15.

Sam Tulip, an apprentice from HMRC Surge and Rapid Response Team, said: “We are really pleased that the judges have put us through to the national final and recognised our hard work.

“In these past three months we have been able to make a positive impact on our local community while also becoming closer as a team.

“We are looking forward to the opportunity to prove that we have the country’s best apprentice team.”

Teams from the country’s leading apprentice employers, training providers and colleges, entered the Brathay Apprentice Challenge and the national finalists were announced at the House of Commons.

Sue Husband, director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “The apprentice team of the year National Finals demonstrate the skills, knowledge and desire to succeed from apprentices; and this continues to inspire others and impress us in equal measure.

“It is great to see apprentices put in the hard work to get the recognition they deserve, highlighting how apprenticeships benefit not only young people themselves, but their employers and their local community too.”

The eight finalists will continue to take part in activities to raise awareness of apprenticeships until June 15 when the apprentice team of the year will be announced at Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters.

Godfrey Owen, Brathay Trust chief executive, said: “All of the teams that have taken part have worked really hard and the quality of the portfolios increases year on year.”