Sir Alan Sugar to take on teenagers for Junior Apprentice

The candidates will have to undertake a variety of business tasks to test their entrepreneurial skills, with two teams going head to head each week. As with the main series, the losing team will end up in the boardroom and the project manager will have to choose two people to join them in the firing line.
However, the winner will not claim a job with Sugar, instead being given a prize tailored to their individual career prospects up to the value of £25,000.

As the series is only five parts long, it is expected that more than one candidate will be fired each week.
The new show will air in addition to the sixth run of the main BBC1 series, which the BBC confirmed would return next year.

Junior Apprentice is expected to get a peak-time slot on BBC1, although scheduling details have not yet been confirmed.

Sugar has previously spoken of his wish to launch a junior version of the show, saying it was important to give young people a chance in business.

Sugar himself left school at the age of 16 with no qualifications and started selling car aerials and electrical goods out of a van he bought for £100. In 1968, he founded the electronics firm Amstrad, and now, more than 40 years later, he is a multimillionaire, ranked 59th in the 2009 Sunday Times Rich List.
He is also currently fronting a government campaign promoting the benefits of apprenticeships.
“It is my long-held belief that we should be doing more to promote enterprise among young people, as the future of our economy relies on them,” Sugar said.



“I passionately believe that the key to business success lies in hard work and common sense and that we should encourage our young people as much as possible. Understandably, the contestants won’t have any previous business experience, but all I want to see from them is an entrepreneurial aptitude and an enthusiasm to succeed,” he added.

The show’s producer, Talkback Thames, said five boys and five girls would take part in the show, with candidates of all social backgrounds encouraged to apply, from straight-A students from grammar or private schools to those with no academic qualifications.

Lorraine Heggessey, the chief executive of Talkback Thames, said: “Junior Apprentice is a great opportunity for teenagers to learn about business first hand from one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs, Sir Alan Sugar. The main series of The Apprentice is extremely popular with younger audiences and we’re delighted to give them a chance to prove themselves in this challenging competitive environment.”

Anyone wishing to take part should apply at www.bbc.co.uk/apprentice.