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Eight young people from Bentley Motors narrowly missed out on the top three spots in the first 'apprentice team of the year' contest following a six week competition against other teams from some of the country's leading employers.

The Brathay Apprentice Challenge pitted eight teams of apprentices against each other in a range of challenges designed to test young people's business acumen, team working and even physical endurance.

The finals, at the Brathay Trust's Cumbrian HQ, saw the team narrowly lose out to winners aerospace firm Cobham, second place MBDA and third place Balfour Beatty.

The two-day event in Cumbria tested teams' problem solving and physical endurance, culminating in a 10-mile whaler boat race across Lake Windermere and built on six weeks of fundraising and communications challenges.

An employer from the company congratulated their apprentices and said:
"Our apprentices are a vital part of our company — and the future of our whole industry. We're thrilled by the effort they showed during the competition and it's a hugely positive sign for the future of Bentley Motors that our apprentices are already showing they're among best in the country."

Jaine Bolton, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, announced the results and said:
"Team Bentley are an example of how, in this new era of higher quality Apprenticeships, young people can really help the nation's businesses grow. They are a real asset to their company and the Brathay Apprentice Challenge has been a fantastic way to recognise the incredible talent and success of the nation's apprentices."

Jez Anderson from the Brathay Trust, commented:
"The Challenge has recognised the vital role apprentices play at their firms and also helped the competitors' personal development. The search for the apprentice team of the year has not only demonstrated the formidable skills of the nation's apprentices, but helped demonstrate the range of careers available to young people."

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