What did we learn from Junior Apprentice?

Simon BrookeWith the dust still settling on the winning task on Junior Apprentice, I’ve been delighted - but not surprised - by the candidates’ performances.

The show did much to showcase some fantastic young business people, all offering different levels of maturity and skill, but also bags and bags of enthusiasm.

And it was no coincidence that the teams managed to pull in some record-breaking Apprentice sales records. Stripped of mature egos (something I sure we’ll see lots of in the Apprentice show proper) the youngsters often identified the key points quickly and, without a sense of fear, threw themselves into the tasks.

So many times in the show proper mature egos, not mature people, have let their desire to be seen override the basic key points related to the task.

The show produced a worthy if slightly surprising winner in 17 year old Arjun Rajyagor, who scooped a prize purse worth £25,000 for his future business career. Surprising only due to the fact he didn’t leap out as a winner in the early tasks, but came flying to the front in the last couple, just pipping Tim Ankers to the final decision.

It was the correct decision for me, certainly out of the final four of Arjun, Tim, Zoe Plummer and Kirsty Cleaver.

Tim showed a level of maturity unsurpassed by many of the others, but a definite role on future episodes of Countryfile look assured for the sheep-shearer turned sharp-suited TV natural.

Kirsty lived up to her name, cutting straight through so much nonsense and was never a shrinking violet, despite her lack of inches.

Zoe was an intriguing character, her of the Human League bob and rolling eyes. Despite annoying almost every viewer I’ve spoken to and most of the other contestants, she displayed a ruthless sales instinct. She could quite probably be able to sell ice to the Eskimos.

The Twitter-sphere was alight with running commentary on the tasks, and it was clear that all the contestants have good futures ahead of them, whatever their chosen fields.

So what have we learned?

Well as many of us know already, there are a fantastic group of young people working their ways through the education system that aren’t out to jump on any bystander with a knife.

The bad rap that many youngsters get was dispelled in huge quantities by driven and hungry young people looking already at their futures. Yes, there was more than a touch of toe-curling regurgitation of classic Apprentice lines “I’ve been working for this all my life” said one 16 year old – an interesting concept!

There was, for me, one salient lesson for all of us whatever your chosen path.

Discover that childlike enthusiasm for business; go jump in a few puddles, bump down the stairs on your bottom and run as fast as you can down the road. And once you’ve found that inner child take a look again at your biggest challenges and tackle them with all that youthful energy.

Simon Brooke, founder, the Happy Sweet Shop.