Six Wiltshire Council apprentices have beaten off tough competition to take the crown of south west champions in a Dragon’s Den style challenge.
Claire Ashton, Damion Godwin, Kieran Jenkins, Megan Mounty, Christa Harrington and Katy Harrington are South West Apprenticeship Business Challenge 2016 champions following their presentation on why every UK business should employ an apprentice.
They had won a previous heat of the challenge and were up against fellow finalists Stroud and North Somerset Council.
Apprentice Megan Mounty said: “We all had a chance to present and add in our own personal opinion during the presentation. We are such a diverse group including parents, people studying at university and people setting up by themselves and we could show how this apprenticeship has helped us and how it helped our managers as well.
“We’re really pleased to have won. Essentially it’s the teamwork that pulled it off and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with.”
Fellow winner Christa Harrington started her apprenticeship in September 2015 at the age of 36. She had left school and started working straight away to help support her husband’s studies before having children. In March last year she took on a temporary job at County Hall in Trowbridge and then was taken on as an apprentice level 3 in business administration.
She said: “For me winning this challenge was a fantastic feeling because it showed you don’t need to just be a young person to do this – to be able to actually achieve something in this way shows age doesn’t matter. Human Resources would have been a difficult area to get into as I’ve no background or education in this area so taking on the apprenticeship was a great way to be able to achieve this.”
The teams were judged by three industry leaders; Brian Bingham from the Federation of Small Businesses, James Rider, Director of Operations at Wessex Water and Phil Smith from Business West.
Fleur de Rhe-Philipe, cabinet member responsible for economic development and skills said: “Congratulations to our talented apprentices who showed great teamwork and presented their case so persuasively against a strong field. This is well deserved and I wish them success in their chosen careers.”
The event was organised by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with employers and training providers.