MORE than 200 apprentices from the south are battling to be crowned apprentice team of the year.

Six companies from Hampshire have put forward teams to take part in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014.

Communications infrastructure and media services firm Arqiva from Winchester is competing against other county firms including engineering firms Babcock, BAE Systems, Defence Munitions Gosport, and GE Aviation and Be Wiser Insurance.

Consisting of nine apprentices, the teams will spread the word about apprenticeships through school visits, media interviews and social media activity and will take on a community project before the end of March.

The finalists will be announced in April.

Godfrey Owen, chief executive of organisers Brathay Trust, said: “With each year the calibre and number of teams competing increases making this year – our third – the toughest challenge yet.

“The Brathay Apprentice Challenge showcases how apprentices earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future.” The competition is supported by the National Apprenticeship Service.