They certainly won’t be fired - Lord Sugar would be proud of youngsters in Dereham

Say the words 'work experience' to most 14 year olds and they would expect to be doing some filing, making the tea or stacking shelves.

But a group of year 10 students from Dereham Northgate High School have been set an apprentice-style task during their week out of the classroom – and from the results you would think Lord Sugar would be pretty impressed.

Young entrepreneurs Summer West, Harry Potter, George Hawkins, and Joe Meehan have been working at Poultec at South Green Park Training Centre at Mattishall and were set a task by centre manager Nikki Smith to execute a business plan that could sell cooked food to the general public.

They went for the idea to open a burger van – and they put their plan into action in Dereham on Thursday – at the same time raising money for the Help for Heroes charity, which supports wounded soldiers and their families.

Miss Smith said: 'It's quite a mammoth task for them, because they have to plan everything from making a viable business model, to costings, preparation of the ingredients, advertising and then they have to be prepared to pick up skills like customer services.

'They'll even learn appraisal and accounting at the end of the task, as they are donating their profits to Help For Heroes.'

During the course of the week they had to research prices, volumes, hand making their own burgers and sausages, producing flyers with a graphic designer whilst working to a tight budget and a deadline and keeping in mind that they needed to optimise their profits.

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Joe Meehan admitted he was initially shocked by the amount of work involved in running a burger van.

'You see people on the market square every weekend serving burgers, and it's made me see that it's definitely not that easy.

'There's so much work that needs to be done before you can actually go out and sell food.

'It has definitely been an eye opener.'

All four of the students agreed that they took away a sense of perspective from being set the task and a grounding into how to run a successful business.

For more information on Poultec and the courses that are on offer, contact Miss Smith on 01362 857100.

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