Calling all schools: registration for the 22/23 Apprentice Vs Dragons’ Den programme now open!

Article summary: Registration for the second Apprentice Vs Dragons’ Den programme is now open to all schools in the Solent area. The competition is open to teams of up to five Year 9 and 10 pupils and registration is open until 21 October 2022.

In February 2022, PETA concluded their first Apprentice Vs Dragons Den inter school competition, which engaged with the Solent’s next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs and future business leaders. 

Launched in September 2021, this programme was open to students from secondary schools from across the Solent and the teams of students were set a brief of creating a product that solves one of the challenges of modern life.

The initial stage was to develop a video presentation which focused on: 

  • outlining the concept of the product (origination, definition, similarities to others and alternatives) 

  • a well thought out design (desired result, features and benefits, the future, commerciality)

  • how it could be produced (materials, sustainability, timescales, aesthetics, costs, manufacturing process) 

  • a business plan (product name, pricing, target market, competition, marketing strategy, potential profits, projected figures)

In early January, the Management team at PETA reviewed each video submission and shortlisted the entries to a final 5. We then invited the 5 teams to PETA to present their product, on stage, to a room of parents, teachers and a panel of Dragons, made up of business leaders from the Solent area. 

We streamed the entire event over YouTube on an invitation-only basis so that parents, teachers and fellow students could watch the entire evening unfold. As the evening concluded we were pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Apprentice Vs Dragons’ Den event as the team from Horndean Technology College (HTC).

Their winning product was an app that records the carbon emission levels of all your activities - everything from your vehicle, to what you eat, consume and buy.

Penny Mordaunt MP, who was one of the Dragons, said: “The students were amazing, it was so fascinating to see the creativity they were putting in and the incredible research and how methodically they’d thought through every aspect of the product they were producing.”

As well as the opportunity to win prizes of trophies and Amazon vouchers, one of the main aims of the programme was to create significant exposure for these impressive young individuals to help kick-start their careers and earn the esteem of their peers and the business leaders present, and this was certainly achieved.

Another of the Dragons, Tony Mason, CEO of Pall Europe, was so impressed with the team from HTC that he invited them all to attend work experience at Pall in early summer 2022.

One of the winning team members, Sophie Keefe said: “Our time at PALL was great! We were given the opportunity to complete practical work in laboratories, such as the Validation, Microbiology and Filter Performance labs. We were also given presentations that helped us to develop valuable skills that would be incredibly transferable to any workplace. 

“These presentations included ones on Health and Safety, Risk Assessments, CVs and cover letters and interview skills, Project Management and Brainstorming Techniques. Everyone we spoke to and worked with were extremely welcoming and more than happy to share with us how they got to where they are today. Every day was really fun, and we enjoyed the varied experiences we were given.”

Following the two-week programme, the four students felt very lucky to have been given this opportunity and were inspired by what they saw and aspired to work with Pall in the future.

The Apprentice Vs Dragons’ Den idea originally came about when PETA’s Head of Sales, Jamie Garrett, decided he wanted to improve engagement with local schools and promote the idea of apprenticeships. During the programme, the pupils gained an insight into opportunities available to them after school in the form of apprenticeships

PETA offers a range of apprenticeships spanning a number of industries including business and leadership, administration, IT, engineering, marketing, sales and customer services. PETA is great at not only delivering exceptional apprenticeship training, but also creating successful partnerships between employers and apprentices to ensure both parties are well-matched.

If you’re interested in registering your school for the Apprentice Vs Dragons’ Den programme 2022/23 please contact Georgia Stewart on 023 9253 8700 or email on School registration closes on the 21 October 2022.


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