Lord Sugar is back to find another Apprentice, . Renamed 'Young Apprentice' as opposed to 'Junior Apprentice' was an obvious attempt to make the candidates look less juvenile, but I actually think this was needed given that there's nothing junior about any of them - in fact, they're probably more capable than half the adults in the business world right now! For those of you who haven't watched the Apprentice before, it's basically a competition to win £25,000 funding from Lord Sugar to kick start a business. However, one thing that I've always wondered about the younger edition of the show is whether or not the prize is worth it. Obviously by being on the programme the candidates get to showcase their skills to the world and, more importantly, Lord Sugar, and it is impressive on one's CV; however, is £25,000 enough? I guess Lord Sugar knows what he's doing and he has to approve any business plan before it goes ahead but I feel that it would be very easy to spend that £25,000 and if the profit doesn't roll in quickly then it'll be gone in no time. Maybe that's just me.
Initially there are 12 candidates, all of which are budding youngsters ages 16-17, who are all incredibly talented and most of them have already set up some sort of business or have other impressive skills. Obviously this is a serious competition but the cockiness and arrogance of some of them candidates is truly overwhelming. One example would be Haya Al Dlame, 16 years old, who bragged about her 8A*s and 2As at GCSE level. Yeah well, even I got better results than you but that doesn't mean I could win the apprentice. Academic achievement is obviously important, but it's not what Lord Sugar's interested in. This competition is about having a natural flair for business and showing your passion and talent. Lord Sugar pointed out what I've always wanted to say to the candidates: 'Don't try and pretend that you know it all because believe me it will be embarrassing. As embarassing as if Nick and I put on a cap and started doing a rap'. Well said Sugar.
Task one assigned to the candidates gave us a great insight into all of the individuals in the competition and what their strengths and weaknesses are. The task was to create a range of frozen treats (i.e. sorbets and ice creams), sell them in a place of their choice and the objective is to the make the most profit possible. A factory was laid out for them and they were taught how to use the ice cream making equipment and I'm
always quite impressed with the speed at which the candidates pick up culinary skills on this show. I took an instant disliking to Gbemi Okunlola, who is already an award winning fashion designer - she never seems to shut up. She said herself that she thinks she is aggressive and intimidating, and I definitely agree. She took absolutely no notice of her project manager and I thought she was also quite disrespectful towards her peers. She has an attitude that reminds me a lot of Mischa B, a contestant on the X Factor. Whilst the pair of them may be talented, they can't let their current success go to their heads, they need to remember their place. I don't even remember who any of Ben Fowler, Lizzie Magee, Zara Brownless or Hayley Richards are, so I think that says enough about them. Mahamed Awale just made me want to laugh. I know it's mean, but I would not be able to do business with a boy that small with a lisp and an accent. Plus the way he approached customers in the task was really quite aggressive and scary. James McCullagh almost made an epic mistake regarding pricing, and considering he attained joint first in Economics in N. Ireland, I'm disappointed. In addition, he seemed determined to take the credit for most of the things his team did which is never a good thing. Harry Hitchens was a fairly good team leader and came up with a great idea of delivering ice cream on the beach showing initiative. I didn't see much of his business knowledge or skills but I have a good feeling about him. Lastly, there's Lewis Roman, although I don't remember that much about him either, I remember thinking that he wouldn't go far in this competition.
This year's candidates are even more talented than last years and I think it's going to be an interesting competition. This is a great show to watch to pick up some random business tips and to get a feel for how things work out there. Whilst the candidates can be annoying, if you want to work in business you had better get used to people's self-centred and egotistical natures now. Right now I think both the Harrys are my favourites to win, but who knows, people can surprise you at the last minute. I highly recommend Young Apprentice which is both and interesting and insightful programme, especially if you're a budding young business(wo)man.
WATCH YOUNG APPRENTICE AT 9:00P.M. EVERY WEDNESDAY ON BBC1