Supporting the development of students in the 2018 Sales Apprentice Challenge

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Thomas International are proud to be sponsoring the Bucks Skills Hub ‘Big Bucks’ Sales Apprentice Challenge 2018.

Alongside eleven other businesses in Bucks, we are delivering an exciting opportunity to sixth form students at local schools, acting as an Enterprise Advisor; we are partnered with Sir William Ramsey School and will help a group of their students develop real sales skills and gain experience in a business environment.

The challenge

The challenge stems from Bucks Skills Hub responding to the Department of Education’s Career Strategy which is aimed at ensuring young people in secondary education and college are getting the best advice and skills to prepare them for a successful future career. More specifically, within the careers strategy are the ‘Gatsby Benchmarks’ [page 19] which are a set of world-class standards to develop and improve a schools’ careers provision, which the Sales Apprentice Challenge supports.

Having already begun in February, the Sales Apprentice Challenge is set over three stages to develop a variety skills, such as leadership, teamwork, research, critical thinking and project management.

Stage 1 – Skills Workshop: As Enterprise Advisor, we met 30 students at Sir William Ramsey and hosted a half day workshop on sales skills with fun and practical activities to put what they’ve learnt into action. The students were put into groups and given the challenge to sell their school to prospective students, presenting their pitch to a group of judges. The winners of this went on to Stage 2. [February]

Stage 2 – The Training: The winning team visited the Thomas HQ in Marlow, Bucks where they were hosted by Craig Howells, Internal Sales Manager and Shalin Saujani, Head of Thomas Education. During the day, they had the opportunity to take one of Thomas’ psychometric assessments, adapted for use by students and were given an overview of the power of self-awareness and its important in the workplace. They also spent the day learning all about Thomas and what we do and were introduced to key members of the team. After learning more about the sales environment, they were given the brief to their final challenge for stage 3, which they spent the afternoon prepping for and utilised the expertise from around the business. [March]

Stage 3 – The Final: The competing twelve teams will come together at Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath for the final stage where they will pitch to a panel of judges a presentation on why young people should live and work in Buckinghamshire. [April]

Students of Sir William Ramsey, with Craig Howells & Shalin Saujani of Thomas International [far right]

Thomas are passionate about empowering young people to achieve their true potential and fully support this programme. Our tools and solutions have been specifically adapted for use in the education sector, to provide young people with a strong understanding of self-awareness as they move through education and into the working world. This challenge was the perfect opportunity to give young people a taster of a business environment, equipping them earlier on with this key knowledge.

Would you like to find out more about this challenge or how you can get involved? Please contact Marina Jackson, Project Manager on [email protected]  

Reuben Conibear

Reuben Conibear

Reuben has worked in the Marketing team at Thomas for just over 3 and half years. As Marketing Executive, Reuben's core focus is to ensure a high quality experience for Thomas customers at all times. In his spare time, Reuben enjoys kayaking, bouldering and spending time with his friends and family.