SOUTH Worcestershire College has been announced as one of the eight finalists of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced the finalists at a reception hosted at the House of Commons.

The students made it through to the final after three months of competition between over 100 teams from the country’s top Apprenticeship employers, training providers and colleges.

As part of the competition South Worcestershire College organised a community project, refurbishing the entrance and reception to a youth centre whilst highlighting the value of Apprenticeships to young people visiting the centre.

The team also carried out eight school visits to talk about the benefits of Apprenticeships.

Also among the finalists was QinetiQ, Barrow Engineering Projects – Oxley Group, British Airways High Flyers, e2v Technologies, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, PepsiCo and Virgin Media.

Bethany Holloway, from South Worcestershire College, said: “We are really pleased that the judges have put us through to the final and recognised our hard work.

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

South Worcestershire College and the other finalists will continue to raise awareness of Apprenticeships and conduct fundraising until Monday, June 9 when the challenge will culminate in a series of team building, logistical and physical challenges at Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters.

The apprentice team of the year will be announced on Wednesday, June 11.

Mr Clegg said: “Apprenticeships are vital to our country’s future.

"They build our houses, design our aircraft, programme our computers and make our furniture, among the many other things they do. "That is why it is so important that we celebrate the achievements of hard-working apprentices across the country.

“The finalists of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge have shown they have the energy, enthusiasm and commitment to be the best they can be, but also to give back to build a better future for Britain.

"It is important that we foster and harness that kind of dedication to secure their future and Britain’s long term success: building a stronger economy and fairer society for this generation and the next.”