The FINAL – RES Apprentice 2015


The 4 Apprentice finalists, their parents, staff, invited guests and a fantastic turnout of past Apprentice competitors and winners joined together at Hersham Place Technology Park on Friday 6th February 2015 for the Final of The RES Apprentice competition.

The competition which is now in its 10th year saw 16 Year 12 students start this competition back in September 2014 with the first round being hosted and the task set by Mitch Avis of Fasset Business and Property Solutions at Hersham Place Technology Park. Subsequent rounds took place at the beautiful Bingham Hotel in Richmond and IBM’s Emerging Technology Centre in Hursley, Hampshire.

Throughout the competition students took part in group and paired activities and students were fired along the way, which left 4 students to face the Final and to see who would win the coveted title of The RES Apprentice 2015.

The judges for the day were:

Mitch Avis – Key Account Manager – Fasset Business & Property Solutions
Erick Kervaon – General Manager – The Bingham Hotel, Richmond
Paul Archer – IBM Big Data Business Development Manager
Geoff Rolls – Direct Change and Chairman of Governors, RES

Guests who were in attendance to see our students perform included the Mayor of Elmbridge Cllr Barry Fairbank and the Mayoress Ms Gillian Smith, RES Principal Mrs Nikki Shephard, RES Head of Sixth Form Miss Debbie Pyke and Deputy Head of Sixth Form Mrs Natasha Blackiston. We were so grateful to see so many of our business sponsors, RES invigilators and past RES Apprentice competitors and Finalists from as far back as 2009! It was also lovely to welcome Will Whitmore’s parents and Connor Scott’s Mum to give them extra encouragement.

Students had been set the final task a few weeks before so they had time to prepare before presenting to the Judges today ~

“Students were given £20 in cash. It is now up to them to see how much money they can make from it before the Final. Students can use any means they see fit to make money from it (providing it is legal) and can use any resources they wish. They will have to keep a record of what they have done to prove that they have made the money they state during todays Final.”

Throughout the competition students were encouraged to be entrepreneurial, articulate, committed and confident and were expected to discuss why they chose their idea, what problems and issues they had faced along the way and how they overcame them and also to show examples of their work. They were judged on their ideas and innovation, the success of their idea and the communication and resources they used to promote their idea.

judgingFirst up to present to the judges was Connor Scott with his idea of an RES Swap-Shop. Connor set up an interactive website for his idea which was to be used by the staff and students at RES. Earning commission on items that were either swapped or sold, Connor had projected to make a profit of £13.91 after week 1 and £143.25 after week 8. Connor had also thought about buying old mobile phones on eBay and refurbishing them to sell on but felt the Swap-Shop was a far better idea and one that could make a good income whilst benefitting staff and students. Connor advertised this idea during students’ tutor time and assemblies. A good, well thought out idea which had the possibility of being very successful.

Next up in front of the judges was Will Whitmore. Pencil Rings was Will’s idea. Will has had this idea since last summer so when he was given this task he knew exactly how he would look to make money! In his workshop Will has been tirelessly designing and hand-making his product and selling via his website and his facebook page which to date has 187 likes! He has made an astonishing profit so far of £402! He has orders from as far away as Sweden, New York and even New Zealand! Will gave a very clear presentation and had samples of the products to show the judges and leaflets showing all his designs. Many of the judges looked and liked his facebook page and were very impressed at the hard work and effort Will had put into his idea and the amazing amount of money he had actually made so far with orders continuing to come in! Well done Will.

Louisa Jack was next and she explained that she had mind mapped a few different ideas including her main passion, horse riding lessons as she has her own horse, and face painting at children’s parties. She discounted both these ideas due to health and safety issues and decided to set up her own boutique ‘Unique Blend’. Offering creative hairstyles, artistic make-up and elaborately painted and decorated nails, Louisa offered these services to friends and family, students at school with their forthcoming school prom and at school fairs in the local area. Louisa already had many of the products required to set up her boutique. In her first week she made a profit of £12.00 after paying back the £20 that was first given to her. Louisa had a projected profit after 8 weeks of £49.00 if she continued with her clients. She has already taken some further bookings. A very clear, concise and well delivered presentation.

Our final student was Matthew Squelch with his idea of private tutoring, Learning Together ~ For Students/By Students. With his friend Scott, they had set up a private tutoring business to support students with their learning and preparation for their GCSE/AS level exams. Their areas of expertise were mainly in Maths and they had already carried out a few sessions with students. They purchased a few items such as work books, pens and pencils and geometry sets, together with downloadable past exam papers which they could work through with the students. They checked the Edexcel/OCR websites to ensure they were working towards the most up to date information. Matt admitted that he took a while brainstorming different ideas before he got started on this business idea. Matt explained his idea extremely well and he has certainly picked up some great presentation skills. Sessions so far with students had only been a few and the profit of £404.00 after week 7 was only projected at this stage but his idea had the making of being a successful one if he continued.

During a short break, judges had the opportunity to discuss each finalist and deliberate as to who would be crowned The RES Apprentice Winner 2015.

4 very nervous finalists came back into the Auditorium to find out the results. Each student was given feedback from the judges and in reverse order places were announced ~


Runners up ~ Connor Scott & Louisa Jack
2nd place ~ Matthew Squelch

1st Place ~ Will Whitmore




Whilst Connor’s, Louisa’s and Matthew’s profits were only projected ones at this point, Will had certainly impressed all the judges with all his hard work and commitment to this task and the actual profit of £402.00 he had made to date. One of the judges even offered Will an investment into his company! A very deserving winner and a young entrepreneur in the making!
Congratulations to all the finalists today for all their hard work throughout this competition and to making it through to today’s final.

winnerPrizes and trophies were handed out by Mayor Cllr Barry Fairbank and Mayoress Ms Gillian Smith. A special prize of a ‘A day in the kitchen with The Bingham Hotel’s resident chef’ was offered by Erick Kervaon and which Will hopes to take up in the Half Term.


A special thanks to Mitch Avis once again for hosting the final and offering us the use of their Auditorium at Hersham Place Technology Park which proved to be a very fitting venue for such an important event in the school calendar. Thanks also to all our business partners for their continued support and especially Erick from The Bingham Hotel and Paul from IBM for hosting the 2nd and 3rd rounds and for returning to judge today, to Geoff Rolls, RES Chairman of Governors for always supporting this competition and to all today’s guests who attended today to support. It is very much appreciated.

Read about earlier rounds of The RES Apprentice here

For information about being involved with The Apprentice Competition please contact Sarah Maton-Business Liaison Manager on either 01932 242994 X361 or email


     HPTech  fasset       bingham     ibm

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