Nine apprentices from Innovia Films from Cumbria have been named the country's official 'apprentice team of the year' following a six month challenge against some of the country's leading employers and training providers.

Innovia Films fought off tough competition from seven other teams after raising over £6,000 for charity and completing a community project which involved renovating sites for charity, Chrysalis. The teams fundraising activities included:

· an auction evening; items such as the opportunity to play at Glen Eagles golf course, an exclusive ticket and tour of Anfield and a Fern Cotton autographed dress went under the hammer for charity.

· Two members also ran 10k in the recent Windermere Marathon, while other members also hosted a quiz night

The teams in total raised over £34,000 for eight different charities as well as staging school talks and conducting media interviews to explain how Apprenticeships enable young people to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future.

Supported by the National Apprenticeship Service, the Brathay Apprentice Challenge tests non-technical work skills and the personal attributes of competing apprentices.

The final stages, at Brathay Trust's Cumbrian HQ saw Innovia Films narrowly beat Norse Group and 2012 winners Cobham into second place.

East Midlands Housing Group, Unilever, Plymouth City Council, Burnley Borough Council, and BCTS, a team of apprentices from small businesses across Norwich, trained by Broadland Council Training Services.

The two-day event in Cumbria tested teams' problem solving and physical endurance, culminating in a muscle sapping whaler boat race, across Lake Windermere that tested the upper body strength of competitors to the maximum.

The eight finalists were selected from over 90 teams that entered the competition and delivered more than 280 school visits to talk about Apprenticeships and 60 community projects, ranging from renovating derelict community spaces to holding CV drop-in clinics for local youngsters.

Team member, Tarran Vailionis, said: "It's a real honour to have won the Brathay Apprentice Challenge. It's been a tough competition, with the other teams really pushing us to the limit. We're really proud of our achievement, not only at the finals in Cumbria, but in the past six months."