Students at Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form have been wowing the College’s very own ‘Sir’ Allan, by taking part in the Business Studies Department’s version of ‘The Apprentice’.

The brief given to the students was to design a brand, marketing strategy and business plan for a breakfast cereal. In order to wow the panel and “Sir Allan”, the students needed to come up with an interesting and innovative brand concept which would set it apart from its competitors and then devise a plan to market and sell their brand successfully.

The panel included Assistant Principal and Director of Financial Services, David Rothwell, Head of Division for Business, Public Services and Sport, Christine Illingworth and ‘Sir Allan’; a role undertaken by Allan Dye, Head of Studies 14-19. Also present were last year’s Apprentice competition winners, plus this year’s multi-prize winning Voltage team. All of the teams had to pitch their designs to the ‘experts’ and undergo a thorough grilling from their peers and the panel.

All the presentations were polished and professional, with well thought out marketing strategies and brand concepts. Much consideration had also been given to the financial constraints of their businesses, particularly pricing strategies in order to break into the marketplace. Each team faced tough questioning about how they would tackle financial difficulties and target their main audiences effectively. After a thorough discussion of the teams’ strengths and weaknesses, the panel went back into ‘the boardroom’ to name the overall winner.

Sir Allan praised all of the teams, before telling Jake Pollard, Tim Dent-Willoughby and Jennifer Etherington (who was sadly unable to attend the day of the presentation), who created breakfast brand Mineral Monsters, “You’re Hired!”.

‘Sir’ Allan Dye said, “We decided that Mineral Monsters were worthy winners because it was a simple idea, which was clearly focused on their target market. They had a well prepared strategy and a catchy jingle!”

Curriculum Leader for Business Studies, Ryan Cook said, “Now in its 4th year, the Nelson and Colne College Apprentice competition has been hugely successful with some of the boldest and most creative ideas we have ever seen. Having set our students a complex task with an ambitious timeframe we were excited to see what they came up with and we were not disappointed. The quality of their ideas and execution of their presentations were of the highest standards and impressed the entire panel, including ‘Sir Allan’, who is not known for easily handing out praise! The Business studies students at Nelson and Colne College have an Outstanding entrepreneurial spirit and the Business department is known across the North-West for the success it has enjoyed in enterprise competitions. We have already begun planning next year’s Apprentice competition with the view to making it bigger, better and even more challenging.”