You’re hired! Students shine in challenge inspired by TV show ‘The Apprentice’

Members of the winning teams with judges at the Future Business Leader Challenge.
Members of the winning teams with judges at the Future Business Leader Challenge.

Students in Mansfield and Ashfield who are aspiring business bosses and would-be marketing experts shone in a competition inspired by the hit TV show, ‘The Apprentice’.

The Future Business Leader Challenge was devised for five teams representing West Nottinghamshire College, Ashfield College and Chesterfield College. They were asked to turn a pair of plain white plimsolls into a best-selling product, which they then had to present and pitch to a panel of judges.

The teams of up to five students, aged 13 to 19, were given 18 weeks to create a design and brand for the footwear, devise billboard and TV adverts, as well as advertise and market the plimsolls.

The competition, sponsored by Primark, was organised by three business students at West Notts, Kyron Caunt, 17, Connor Barnard, 18, and Bethany Searson, 19, all from Sutton. And it came to a head at the college when the campaigns were showcased in front of the judges, who included college chiefs and prominent businessmen and women.

The category of ‘best presentation’ was won by TagZ, a team from Ashfield School in Kirkby, made up of A-level students Luiza Adamczyk, Millie Washington, Oliver Trustwell and Alex Coe and 13-year-old year-eight pupil Jack Harris. Their campaign focused on innovative footwear designs “based on iconic city skylines, featuring silhouettes of New York, London, Paris and and Dubai, capturing their unique cultures”.

The ‘best pitch’ category was won by a West Notts team called Pins And Needles, comprising business students Joshua Bray, Jordan Drury, Sam Hufton, Emily Clark and Gabriel Winnard-Skelton. They came up with a campaign for “a fully-customised pop/punk-style shoe that is designed to be as unique as the wearer”.

Trophies, certificates and £20 Amazon vouchers were presented to all the winners, but West Notts principal, Dame Asha Khemka, praised all the students who took part. “The teamwork, creativity, innovation and use of technology they displayed was very impressive,” she said.