Tag Archives: brathay

IBM Brathay Team Challenge!

Brathay Apprentice Challenge!

As you may be aware from our previous blog, the Brathay Challenge (#BAC16) is underway and the IBM team are in need of your support. In case you missed the last update here is a brief overview of what we are doing.

We are a team of 9 Apprentices all from very different parts of the organisation working through a number of challenges in order to win the title of ‘Brathay Apprentice team of the year’. The challenges are designed to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships with young people, educational establishments, other businesses and the community.

Our Brathay challenge is split into two parts, the first being awareness of apprenticeships and promoting them, and the latter being our community project.
Our previous blog gave you an insight into how we have created an awareness of apprenticeships and the different formats we have used to do so and we also gave a small introduction into our community Project.  Here is a quick recap if you missed it!

Community project:

The team selected Spithead community centre for their project as this community Centre will help many local residents and assist SEHCO in providing activities for young people in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire.

Spithead community centre, situated on Montgomerie road, Southsea, is run by a Charity called ‘SEHCO’ (South East Hampshire Community Outlook) who aim to promote community involvement. SEHCO currently have three community centres for hire, and are also leading a major Big lottery funded initiative that delivers arts and sports activities for local 10-18 year old. 

Our community project is now complete and was a huge success!

The team of 9 Apprentice’s worked alongside SEHCO to prepare and plan the project. All equipment needed to be ordered and delivered ready for the apprentice’s arrival on the Saturday 2nd of April. This included the basic furniture including chairs and tables, a fridge and microwave, and even a flat screen TV and Xbox one! A projector screen was also bought so that the users of the centre can practice presentation skills.

The team were left to assemble the furniture, thoroughly clean the centre and set up the IT Suite using their technical knowledge which included updating the systems and ensuring that the users of the suite could access the web and print documents safely.

Here are some after Photos:

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We will now be creating a portfolio to show what we have completed for the challenge so far and producing evidence to see if we have earnt a place in the Finals week commencing on the 13th June.

Please help support us and keep up to date with our progress on Twitter @IBMBAC16.


IBM Brathay Challenge!

IBM apprentices need your support!

A team of nine apprentices from IBM have entered the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2016, the search for the apprentice team of the year, which will see our company up against employers from across England to be crowned apprentice team of the year 2016.

Our team is made up of:
Acacia Hayles, Identity and Access Management Specialist
Amy Magistris, Bluemix Garage Office and Communications Manager
Katie Fielding, z/OS Systems Programmer
Georgia Crane, Commercial Manager
Martin Dawson, Customer Engineer
Jonah Reid, Customer Engineer
Luke Pearce, RFS Manager
George Marshall, Software Designer
Dmytro Oliinyk, Configuration Manager

What is the Brathay challenge?

The Brathay Apprentice Challenge (#BAC16) is the search for the apprentice team of the year, supported by the National Apprenticeship Service.

To win the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, teams undertake a series of exciting and interactive work-related challenges to develop new skills and showcase their employer by engaging with young people and businesses to promote the benefits of apprenticeships.   The challenges are designed to ensure that the teams demonstrate their team building, leadership, logistical and communications abilities.

Teams of nine apprentices can be from a single employer, a group of small businesses, an industry, supply chain or training provider.  There is no limit to the number of teams that can be entered per organisation or group.

The apprentices will need your support throughout. Regional Heats take place from February to April 2016 consisting of a Community Project and activities that raise the profile of the team, employer and apprenticeships.

What have we done so far?

So the Brathay challenge is split into two parts. The first is making awareness of apprenticeships where we as a team have to conduct a series of presentations and host events to increase the awareness and benefits of apprenticeships to young people, parents and businesses. And the second part is doing a community project in a local community to benefit young people.

Apprenticeship awareness:
So far the team have reached out to numerous students, parent and teachers in order to make awareness of apprenticeships. We’ve also got involved in National Apprenticeship Week 2016 events, done an Apprentice panel at BT centre, run mock assessment centres and completed job swaps with executives.


Community project:
For our community project we have partnered up with the charity SEHCO (South East Hampshire Community Outlook) in order to rejuvenate Spithead Resource Centre in Southsea. This is a fantastic opportunity for us as SEHCO have received funding from the lottery to carry out the project. Currently Spithead Resource Centre looks very tired so we are will be redecorating, refurbishing the inside by buying new equipment and getting the IT suite set up and planning the project from start to finish.

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What our community project will offer:

Our project will help people living in the area of extreme deprivation adjacent to Spithead Resource Centre by providing a friendly place to drop in, enabling them to find out what’s happening. It will also be an ideally-located base for outreach from local colleges and training providers, a number of whom we have already contacted.
It will assist the large local population of young people, who are often poor and who (living in rented accommodation or lodgings) can be socially/emotionally isolated. It will do this by providing an important part of the framework of support that they need in order to thrive and make the most of their life rather than ‘drop out’.
A rejuvenated Spithead Resource Centre will help the wider community by offering a friendly and welcoming source of varied opportunities for informal engagement. As many of these people will have low confidence, this may well prove a first step towards enrolling in courses that could change their lives.
The area immediately surrounding Montgomerie Road has changed. It is now predominantly populated by young people, a fact that only serves to exacerbate the social isolation of the older members of the population. Bad credit is, increasingly, a feature of the area.
A medium-height chair is no longer merely a piece of furniture but becomes the means by which an older person can participate. The projector screen is not simply a high-tech adornment but an important tool that will help in the informal learning of a young Mum starting to prepare for employment.
The fridge and microwave are not merely kitchen appliances but key resources in preparing the refreshments that mean young people can enjoy a hot drink and a snack and talk with others, making them feel welcome, valued, part of something worthwhile.
Similarly, an Xbox with games is not just a big toy but a way of engaging with young people. The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, already supportive of SEHCO’s work, will be invited to present the trophy to the winner of the Xbox competition, thus giving us the publicity that could attract even more lonely and vulnerable young people and encourage them to participate.

In the meantime, please support us and keep up to date with our progress on Twitter @IBMBAC16.

Big Blue Goals – Joe Barry

Hello all, and welcome to my first post for the IBM Apprenticeship blog. My name is Joseph Barry and I joined the IBM Apprenticeship scheme in September 2014 mainly because I wanted to pursue a career that would make me. Having now been involved with 3 different apprenticeship schemes I know that the IBM Apprentice is right for me.


In the near future I will ‘spill the beans’ on my previous apprenticeships compared to IBM’s but for this post my aspirations will be my main talking point.


So excluding the fact that joining a massive company like IBM is a huge achievement in itself, the New Year is here so I must find new peaks to climb. One of these goals is to be a more independent and useful member of my group. I currently work at a building society within a testing team of both onshore and offshore resources. I hope this year I can learn more systems of testing and be confident in my ability to complete multiple ‘work packages’ effectively whilst also working independently. IBM can be very helpful in doing this as there are many courses they host in order to get the best out of their IBMers.  But nothing for me is better than getting hands on and learning on the spot so I believe this goal can be very achievable.


Goal number 2 is to win the Brathay Challenge 2015 (I like to aim high). The Brathay Challenge is a competition that takes place every year to find the best 9 man/woman apprentice team in the country and I am so happy to have been accepted for IBM’s team this year. For this we are doing a sponsored 10k run for the ‘Friends of the Elderly’ charity which helps older people that are lonely to meet new people, go outside and socialise. I am very relieved that a charity like this exists and would be glad to raise money and volunteer my help to them. We are also talking to schools across the country including my old school Admiral Lord Nelson in Portsmouth. So come along to these events to find out more, or come talk to me, I’m sure I will be my usual friendly self.


Now Goal number 3 is not very original but still necessary; over Christmas I may have indulged in one to many puddings, so much so that I am beginning to look like one! So as of this year I need to get back in tip-top shape (especially if I plan to participate in the Eastleigh 10k run). Being on any apprenticeship is a change in lifestyle which you need to adapt to and be happy with. That’s why staying in a hotel with a gym and healthy food is very important to me.


If I had chosen a different path in my career and ended up joining a university I would not be working with a team of professionals 3weeks from joining and therefore my first goal would be out of my reach. Goal 2, I definitely couldn’t achieve as the Brathay Challenge is only available for apprentices. Goal 3 would still be possible but my preference would be to learn on the job and go to the gym after rather than going to a classroom and then squeezing in a gym session along with revision.


Thanks for reading through my post. All comments are appreciated, o please feel free to share your opinions in the section below..  If you would like to find out more about the ‘Friends for the Elderly’ charity click the link below:




To catch up with everything the Brathay team and I are doing please find our social media links also below.


Twitter – https://twitter.com/BigBlueBrathay?lang=en-gb

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BigBlueBrathayTeam

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/IBM-Brathay-2015-8245061?home=&gid=8245061