Young Apprentice 2012 kicks off tonight, and the new batch of teenage candidates are thrown right into their first challenge.
Speaking at the top of the show, [tag]Lord Sugar[/tag] warns: "Now here’s a little warning, I don’t like teacher’s pets and I don’t like school bullies. This is about the real world. I’m not making you sit exams; the only grade you’ll get here is ‘F’, for Fired!”
Next, he explains the faith he has in the candidates, telling them: “it’s never been harder than now for young people, like you, to try and find yourselves a job... I believe that it is young entrepreneurs that will bring prosperity back to our country.”
Before briefing them on their task, Lord Sugar reminds the candidates of the prize one of them will receive, saying: “I might remind you of your Grandad but here’s the main difference. You’re lucky if your Grandad gives you a fiver in an envelope at Christmas time. I’m going to give you £25,000 to use to further your business ambitions.”
The first task is all about ‘rags to riches’. Each team will receive one tonne of discarded clothes, from which they must sort the good from the bad. They must then sell their wares to members of the public, either at pop-up stores in a shopping centre or at a car boot sale. The team that comes in with the biggest profit will win and, on the team that loses, at least one candidate will be fired.
After Lord Sugar divides the candidates into two teams, boys versus girls, they head to their new home for the next few weeks, a luxury mansion in Hampstead.
The boys quickly select Odyssey for their team name, after a lack of other suggestions, although struggle with its spelling. [tag]Patrick McDowell[/tag] is quick to nominate himself as Project Manager due to his experience in the fashion world, with Max asking to be his “right-hand man”, due to his knowledge of vintage clothing.
On their way to the clothes recycling depot, the boys discuss whether the girls have an advantage because the task is “more feminine”. David states his opinion: “even though cooking is a feminine thing the best chefs are men so we can win this task, not because it’s made for us, but because we’re just the better sex.”
Overseeing the depot sub-team, Karren Brady observes: “Patrick really has an eye for fashion and he knows what he’s looking for, he can spot the gems among the pile. Steven and David haven’t got a clue, “Is this something Cheryl Cole will wear?” I don’t think so!”
Knowing that garments can be altered and customised, for bigger mark-ups, Patrick is pleased to find a wetsuit amongst the pile of clothes, admitting: “There are some unusual items in the customising pile.” The other boys’ sub-team visit ‘Lucy in Disguise’ for research purposes, where Sarah Owen explains that they try not to modify items if they can help it. Patrick dismisses this feedback and heads to a tailor.
There, Patrick explains his concept for his ‘wetsuit kimono’, with a wetsuit for the top half and a kimono for the skirt. After receiving the costs for the tailoring, David states: “my initial logic tells me that we’ll find it quite hard to make a profit on it. Is it worth it?” However Patrick is adamant about his expertise, complaining: “I didn’t expect the boys to be quite so inexperienced in the area. Trying to get the other members of the team to understand what I’m going for is going to be quite hard.”
The next day, Patrick’s creations are given pride of place in the boys’ pop-up store. The boys quickly shift some of the items of clothing but the tailored items fail to tempt customers, with one asking of the wetsuit kimono: “where would you wear that?” Patrick decides to leave the shopping centre and try to sell to trade instead, a decision that Karren Brady is unimpressed by: “right at its busiest they’ve decided to pack up and flog their stuff to a retailer, who is going to pay nothing like the margin the customer will pay. I really don’t understand the logic behind it.”
Over on the girls decide on the name, Platinum, and [tag]Ashleigh Porter-Exley[/tag] is the lone volunteer for Project Manager. They arrive at a laundrette and the team are keen to customise their clothing with studs but for PM, and trainee accountant, Ashleigh, it’s all about the bottom line: “I’m just going to put my foot down for the team and say we’re not doing any tailoring. That’s my decision.” Explaining why she has decided to take this line, Ashleigh says: “Hopefully they will respect me for it in the end because its money saving, I’m not just being unreasonable.”
Ashleigh’s other money saving strategy is not to wash all of the clothes. Maria is unsure about this decision, saying: “we’re cutting costs way too much, I understand we have to make high profit margins but you don’t need to abandon quality in the process.” The girls adopt an unusual policy in picking which clothes they should wash, smelling the items and saying: “If it makes you gag it goes in the wash.” After struggling to tell the difference between the washing machines and dryers, the girls are left with little time and end up with still wet clothes.
The next day, the girls set up their pop-up store, containing both unwashed clothes and still damp clothes.
The brand new series of [cat c="apprentice"]Young Apprentice 2012[/cat] starts on tonight, November 1st at 8PM on BBC One.