Seven young people from across Renfrewshire were stunned to hear the words ‘You’re hired’ as the winners of The Recruit were named.
The surprise news was revealed at a black-tie finale event hosted by Radio Clyde’s George Bowie to mark the end of the summer-long Apprentice-style scheme.
26 young people, all fifth and sixth year pupils from Renfrewshire schools, have spent the last 12 weeks taking part in The Recruit with the aim of earning an £18,000 job at the end of it.
However at the finale event, in Paisley Town Hall, it was revealed that not one but seven jobs were in fact up for grabs.
The overall Top Recruit, winning an £18,000 a year job with KDS ltd, was named as SarahJane Sarkhosh, from Renfrew.
SarahJane said: “Words cannot describe how I feel. I’m completely overcome with emotion and I’m so optimistic about the year ahead. I want to say well done to everyone. Everybody has done so well and I’ve made such good friends. We’ve watched each other all grow and develop skills we didn’t know we had. I am so proud.”
SarahJane’s new boss Stevie Kidd, managing director of KDS Ltd, said: “I had my own business when I was 17 and I felt that this is about giving something back to the community. I have got a passion for the next generation and do a lot of presentations in schools. A lot of kids don’t have any role models. There is a lack of leadership so I wanted to get involved to see if there are any young people with potential to work with us.
“SarahJane’s is going to be spending time learning every aspect of the company then we are really going to focus on what she wants to do with her life.”
The Recruit was run by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with local businesses and organisations to give young people practical experience and advice on starting a career in business.
Since the beginning of June the young people have worked in five separate teams and taken part in seven business challenges, as well as presentations and Q&A sessions with top entrepreneurs.
They also took part in courses in customer care, stress management, presentation skills, assessment centre and interview skills as well as raising funds for charity.
On the night, held at Paisley Town Hall, individual awards, a Top Team award and the Top Recruit award were presented.
Top Recruit , sponsored by KDS ltd – SarahJane Sarkhosh
Top Team, sponsored by Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, – Team Stimulus (Katie Wu, SarahJane Sarkhosh, Stephen McDonald, Lindsey Byrne, Finlay Allardice)
As well as the Top Recruit, the following jobs were also announced:
Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce management trainee – Finlay Allardice, Johnstone High School.
Connaught Ltd, Housing Liaison Trainee – Nicole Wilson, Park Mains High School.
KDS ltd, trainee sales and marketing administrator – Lynsey MacKay, Park Mains High School.
Renfrewshire Council, Modern Apprentice Business Administrator – Angela Wilson, Parkmains.
Cosmopolitan Hotels, 2 Trainee Hotelier – Lindsey Byrne, Castlehead High School and Gemma Powell, Park Mains High.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Derek Mackay said: “All of the young people who took part have shown fantastic initiative, commitment and enthusiasm. They have stepped up to every challenge thrown at them and at no point did anyone say there was something they could not do. We’ve seen them all grow in confidence and watched them develop skills some of which they may not have even known that they had. They should all be incredibly proud of themselves, as we are of them. I’ve no doubt that every one of them has a bright future ahead and this is very promising for Renfrewshire as a whole. I hope this year’s Recruit contestants have inspired other young people to take part in this innovative project in future.”