Community Apprentice Semi Finals

Students evidence they have character to succeed

Our students have taken part in the semi-finals of Birmingham’s Community-Apprentice this year.  30 teams from schools across the city have taken part in the competition. Loosely based on The Apprentice on television, young people are required to develop, and crucially demonstrate, skills and personal qualities whilst managing their own projects.  In this case, however, young people compete to benefit the community, rather than make the most profit.

Our teams have worked really hard since September researching problems, identifying an issue, planning what to do about it and overcoming a range of problems to make it happen. Now they have been reflecting on what they have achieved and the impact the experience has had on themselves and others.

Taking action to benefit others

Team Alleviate were passionate about tackling homelessness and have supported homeless charity SIFA Fireside through their project. They held a number of fundraising activities, including bake sales and a ‘trainers day’, and collected donations from within their school and from their business mentors at Marks & Clerk in order to put together support packages for the charity. In the end they raised £230 and donated over 20 packages to SIFA Fireside.

Team Revival wanted to break the silence around domestic violence and provided support to domestic violence victims at Women’s Aid by donating 6 boxes of essential items for women and children to the charity. They collected these items through fundraising at their school, including through bake sales and henna days. They also helped to raise awareness around the issue of domestic violence by holding six assemblies at their school to educate their peers. Team Revival’s efforts meant they made it through to the Community-Apprentice semi-finals, where they delivered a great pitch to a panel of business leaders.

Evidencing employability skills

Students had to present their projects to a panel of judges. As well as evidencing how they have helped other people, they were also required to clearly articulate their own development during the programme drawing on specific examples.

As well as helping them in the competition, this reflection will provide them with examples for interviews for further education or jobs.  Employers are increasingly interested in transferable skills, like team working and problem solving, and we want to help our students to know how to evidence examples which demonstrate this.


Employees from Marks & Clerk have been mentoring students throughout the project. Lynne Jackson said “Working with these girls throughout the year has been really inspiring and it’s great to be able to help them to develop the skills they will need for the workplace whilst carrying out these amazing social action projects. The students have done an incredible job and their passion for their projects is inspiring – I wish them luck in the future.”

Whatever the results in the competition, it is clear that our students have really enjoyed this experience, made a difference for others and gained a lot from it themselves. 

Revival semi-final