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Apprentices compete for title

Wednesday 8th April 2015

A TEAM of apprentices from Kent County Council are hoping to be recognised as the best in the country.

The nine apprentices have been entered into the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, competing against 700 others from across the UK.

They are Maidstone residents Grant Thompson (19), Christian McKay (19), David Thompson (18), Alice Beeken (21) and Millie Rose James (16), alongside Gemma Clarke (17) from Bearsted, Kirsty Fisher (17) from Dartford and Heidi Coombes (19) and Chris Dowle (22), from Herne Bay.

KCC takes on 120 apprentices each year in a variety of roles, including administration, ICT, accounting and teaching assistants and the nine all work in different departments.

Business support and administration apprentice Grant Thompson said: “I would highly recommend an apprenticeship to anyone, even if they set their eyes on going to university.

“Apprenticeships are a great way to get your foot in the door and are also a great way to start earning a wage. I also feel that with an apprenticeship you are more likely to gain a permanent or contracted job at the end of it.”

During the Brathay Challenge, the apprentices will need to prove they have the best in team building, logistical, leadership and community skills.

Regional heats will see the top eight teams from across the country go forward to the national finals, with the winners being revealed at Brathay Trust’s Cumbrian headquarters on July 8.

The awareness-raising activities coming up for the group include visits to Maidstone Grammar School and Cornwallis Academy as well as a networking lunch, a jobs fair at Maidstone’s Gallagher Stadium and a visit to Kent Choices 4 U, where youngsters can explore training, employment and vocational opportunities.

The community project is helping children’s hospice Demelza House raise awareness and funds. 

A quiz night and raffle for KCC staff has been arranged for Friday, March 20 at the Weald of Kent hotel and the team hopes will raise about £1,000 for the charity.

 KCC leader Paul Carter is pictured with Alice Beeken, Gemma Clarke, Kirsty Fisher, Millie James, Christian McKay, Grant Thompson, David Thompson and Chris Dowle.