Follow us on Twitter Facebook Flickr YouTube Google+
Business & Enterprise News
RES Apprentice 2015 Round 3
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 00:00

The RES Apprentice 2015

3rd Round - IBM, Hursley

The 3rd round of the competition took place over 2 days, first on the Monday at IBM in Hursley, Winchester and then on Tuesday at R E S. With the remaining 8 apprentices we headed off to IBM, Hursley containing the ‘Emerging Technology Services’ team.

RES Apprentice 2015

Part of the IBM Software Group’s Strategy and technology division, this worldwide organisation focuses on Emerging Technology and its use in satisfying the business needs of customers by providing innovative technical solutions across a wide range of business areas. ETS fuses direct experience of working with customers with innovation and first-of-a-kind technology to produce a compelling value proposition. ETS are much more than a services organisation. They provide architectural consultancy, produce solutions, demos, proof of concepts, pilot systems and reference architectures ensuring that they take the time and feed their knowledge and experiences back into the development organisations.

We were met by Paul Archer, Big Data Business Development Manager who welcomed students and delivered their task for the day.

During the day students were going to be shown, and have hands on experience of, some of the emerging technologies being developed for businesses already by IBM.  Then, working in pairs, their task was to come up with and then present an alternative potential market or selection of businesses that one of these could then be sold to, and ultimately stand the best chance of success. The judging criteria was to be based around Innovation, Business Application, Business Reach and Overall presentation and questioning which were to be no longer than 5 minutes.

RES Apprentice 2015

Firstly students headed off onto a tour of their Innovation Centre. Experts at this centre work with Business partners, entrepreneurs, academia, and IT professionals to build the solutions and skills needed for success. Housing IBM Systems, Cloud, Big Data & Analytics, Mobile and Social focus areas students got a first hand insight into the type of areas IBM are working on to transform businesses.

After this tour students had some time to start discussing the task set to them and had the opportunity to ask Paul questions about the type of idea they had in mind. Students spent time brainstorming their ideas to see what would and wouldn’t work.

We then visited the fantastic Emerging Technologies Laboratory where students had the chance to play with some of the new technologies that are currently being developed for business by IBM such as the huge multi touch tablet and IBM Foresight which, with a headset, gave the viewer a virtual look around a room without actually entering it!

RES Apprentice 2015

After a good lunch in the canteen students chatted over their ideas and got back to work on their ideas before heading home to develop these further overnight ready for the next day.

On Tuesday students spent the day researching and finalising their ideas and working on their presentations to show to Paul who was arriving at R E S for the afternoon.

First up was Team 1 : Joe Sewell & Parul Obhrai

Joe and Parul’s idea was to create an App linked into IBM Foresight and the IBM floorsensors. This App was to help commuters reduce time on their journey by selecting the best mode of transport for them on the day. The App would search and look at costs/traffic delays/platform waiting times/accidents/congestion on buses and trains, and advise them on the best mode of transport on that day. This should also encourage more commuters to use Public Transport. This was a good, well researched and delivered presentation with an excellent response to questions put to them at the end.

Team 2 :  Zuliza McKenzie & Josh Dunham

Their idea - SRC – Sensory Response Complex uses the sensory node plates and the Node red system they were shown in the Emerging Technologies laboratory. They created a system for large supermarket chains which helped them detect when stock was low on their shelves, which would impacts on the sales and revenue of their company. The system would also help them to establish theft from certain lines that would not go through the checkout system. Their idea was to provide a simple and practical approach to an every present problem. They showed good research and use of technology they had learnt about.

Team 3 :  Will Whitmore & Louisa Jack

Louisa and Will had a great idea of a student surveillance system using sensors and the multi – touch tablet. Using sensors at the school gates and in the classrooms students would be automatically marked into school and to lessons which would save valuable teaching time. It would help with truancy issues and send out automatic truancy calls and this would also help from a fire safety point of view. It could track student’s locations throughout the school day and establish where they were and identify any hot spots (ie: students smoking /students fighting). Although expensive to install it would have many benefits and parents could opt out of it for their son/daughter if they wished. It would provide security and safety for students within a school environment. Will interviewed the Principal of R E S and a local Fire safety office who were very impressed with his suggestions although they would need to be looked into further.

Team 4 : Matthew Squelch & Connor Scott

Cloud solutions and the use of tablets for the Police Force and Emergency Services was the idea of Matt and Connor. This would keep data and files on individuals in one place that all could tap into. It would easily track stolen vehicles, show all previous criminal records and improve the efficiency of the police force whilst cutting down on admin costs. It would have an easy to use interface which officers could log into with their ID badges. An excellent, clear and concise presentation and one that Paul felt could easily work.

RES Apprentice 2015 

Paul then had the task of choosing which two from the 4 pairs would be fired to leave our four finalists.

He thought all of the ideas were highly innovative and there was nothing to choose between this aspect of the task. All of the ideas addressed a real world need that would provide solutions based upon saving costs or adding value. All of the presentations were well thought out and put together and he was really impressed at the content that they contained, considering they had such little time to put them together.

The area that made the real difference in terms of who progressed and who did not came down to the business reach of the solution suggested. The two solutions that went through both identified where the benefits were AND made an effort to quantify this. Paul said “When you are addressing a business need it is imperative that you are able to tell your potential client what this solution is worth to them - how much will it add to the revenue of their business, how much cost will it take out, how many man hours will it save, what resources will it free up etc. This is the area where there was a difference in the innovative solutions that were suggested”.


The 4 students that were successful and have made it through to the final are:

Will Whitmore, Louisa Jack, Matthew Squelch and Connor Scott


Well done to all the students who took part in round 3 and for doing extremely well to get to this stage of the competition.

Thank you once again to Paul Archer for hosting the 3rd round of this competition, for setting the task and for allowing us into IBM’s Technology Centre in Hursley which was a very interesting day. We welcome Paul back to sit on the judging panel alongside Mitch Avis from Hersham Place, Erick Kervaon from The Bingham Hotel and Geoff Rolls, R E S Chairman of Governors.

The Final takes place on Friday 6th February 2015 at Hersham Place Technology Park. This is with thanks to Mitch Avis - Key Account Manager who has kindly offered us the use of this venue.

For information about being involved with The Apprentice Competition please contact Sarah Maton - Business Liaison Manager on either 01932 242994 X361 or email   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

RES Apprentice 2015 Round 2
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 00:00

The RES Apprentice 2015

2nd Round - The Bingham Hotel, Richmond

The beautiful Bingham Hotel along the Thames riverside in Richmond was the setting for the 2nd round of the Apprentice competition 2015.

RES Apprentice 2015

Tucked away beside the river in Richmond-upon-Thames, the Bingham is one of London’s most unusual boutique hotels, or ‘restaurant with rooms’. A Georgian townhouse, the Bingham is a chic retreat for romantic getaways, a gourmet bolthole for gastronomic experiences, and a unique wedding and events venue.

We were welcomed to the hotel by General Manager, Erick Kervaon who set the students their second task. Every year the BBC hold their Good Food Festival at Hampton Court Palace over the 3 day August bank holiday weekend. Last year The Bingham Hotel created a ‘Pop-up restaurant’ for the 3 days to serve 10,000 festival goers. This was the inspiration behind the task Erick was to put to our students.

The 12 students were tasked to design and create an example of how their pop up restaurant will look, considering layout, colours and design in keeping with The Bingham Hotels style. The restaurant would need to hold up to 3,000 people a day with weather being a big factor. Students also had to design and create a menu that would be sold during the days of the festival.

RES Apprentice 2015

Marketing and promotion was also something that students had to consider to entice as many customers as possible to their ‘pop-up restaurant’. Presentations were to last no more than 7 minutes and were to be judged on their Innovation and Ideas, the Practicality, their Presentation skills, Questioning and Teamwork and the Overall Effectiveness.

The 12 students had already been put into their groups (3 teams of 4) the day before and had started working on the task, researching the hotel, the BBC Good Food Festival, and started to come up with a brief outline of what they had in mind.

On arriving at the hotel, Erick gave all the students a tour of the hotel and a wonderful insight of its history which was fascinating. Students also were invited to help themselves to the wonderful range of teas and coffees, fruit, crossaints and pastries. This certainly set them up for the mornings work.

Students worked tirelessly, designing, planning and putting their ideas together on a presentation. Students enjoyed yet again a beautifully prepare lunch and chatted over their presentations. The time flew by and it was soon time to present!

RES Apprentice 2015

First team up to present their ideas to Erick was made up of Louisa Jack, Zuliza McKenzie, Josh Dunham and Matt Squelch. Keeping to a very British theme, making it appealing and swift whilst also being reasonably priced and sustainable the student’s idea was to have an ivory & burgundy colour scheme with a traditional British menu which would suit both adults and children. So not to waste food they also had an idea of any left overs to be given to local schools whilst also adopting an Eco friendly system with regards to waste. They were to advertise throughout the 3 days via twitter and signage around Hampton Court grounds as well as staff members handing out flyers.

The second team were Will Whitmore, Joe Sewell, Parul Obhrai & Connor Scott. Historical British Cuisine, incorporating the stylish nature of the hotel was this team’s starting point. With colours of deep red and ivory for their restaurant to give a feel of rich quality they had also designed an amazing 3D visual sample of the pop-up restaurant and how it would look. The design was welcoming with a undercover area for poor weather, a VIP area and a bar. The team had put together, printed and laminated a sample menu to tie in with the Hampton Court theme using local produce from Garsons Farm in Esher. The team was to promote their idea through word of mouth, suspended banners in Hampton Court, and with staff wandering around offering sample tasters of their food.

The third and final team were made up of students Alex Drummond, Tattiana Lowe, Ryan O’Connor and Jamie Wells. This team’s pop up restaurant was to stand out from the crowd, with a white/champagne and grey colour theme, a sheltered terrace and speciality staff and chefs. They had designed their menu around a traditional afternoon tea whilst considering gluten free and dairy free customers as well as using local produce. They thought of a great idea in using The Bingham Bicycles to advertise their restaurant. They would have staff members cycling around the palace grounds offering tasters of cheese & croissants whilst promoting their restaurant.

RES Apprentice 2015

Throughout all of the teams presentations Erick fired various questions at them all to expand on their ideas further or to explain how they had originally come up them and how realistically they were going to work. All teams were invited back into the room where Erick gave them all some great feedback on their ideas, their presentations, and who had impressed him the most. It was very tense as Erick went round all the teams but eventually named his winning team for the day as Team 2 and for their great efforts he offered for them all to return back to The Bingham Hotel for Afternoon Tea!.

Whilst Erick was very impressed with all the teams thoughts, ideas and their different styles of presentation, this team impressed him the most with the way they all worked very closely as a ‘team’ and had delegated a role to each person. He loved the menu and the 3D design as well as their great presentation. They had stuck to the brief and that’s why they were his winners.

In an Apprentice boardroom style, Team 1 and 3 had to try and sell their ideas once again to Erick and explain why they think they should stay in the competition. Eventually Erick chose to fire Team 1 so unfortunately we say goodbye to Alex, Tattiana, Ryan and Jamie.

Congratulations to the remaining 8 who now go through to Round 3 on the 17th November which takes place at IBM’s Emerging Technology Centre in Hursley.

Thank you once again to Erick and all the staff at The Bingham Hotel for their fantastic hospitality and for hosting the 2nd round of this competition. The students all had a wonderful time and it proved to be a great experience for them. We look forward to welcoming Erick back to sit on the judging panel at the Final on the 6th February 2015. This once again takes place at Hersham Place Technology Park, Hersham, Surrey, thanks to Mitch Avis - Key Account Manager and his kind offer of this great venue.

For information about being involved with The Apprentice Competition please contact Sarah Maton - Business Liaison Manager on either 01932 242994 X361 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

RES Apprentice 2015 Round 1
Friday, 10 October 2014 00:00

The R E S Apprentice 2015

Thursday 30th September 2014

1st Round - Hersham Place Technology Park

On 30th September 16 Year 12 students from R E S started out on their journey to be crowned the next R E S Apprentice winner. Supported by Fasset we returned to Hersham Place Technology Park for the 1st round of this competition.

RES Apprentice 2015 Round 1

Now in its 10th year this competition sees students face 4 gruelling rounds working in groups, pairs and then individually throughout the competition. Following a series of eliminations at each round the remaining 4 go through to face an individually based task, their presentations to be shown at the Grand Final on Friday 6th February 2015. The final this year sees us back at Hersham Place Technology Park in their newly refurbished Auditorium. The challenges set to the students throughout the competition are all business related and set by our local business contacts who have kindly offered to sponsor one of the rounds. Throughout the competition students are encouraged to be entrepreneurial, articulate, committed and confident.

Fasset Account Manager Mitch Avis very kindly offered to support this competition once again and comments, “Fasset has supported this competition for the last 5 years and is delighted to again be part of this exciting business challenge”.

After a tour of Hersham Place by Mitch the task was set. The students worked in groups of 4 and after their names were chosen ‘out of the hat’ the students grouped together and started to work deciding on who was in charge of the different roles within their group.

Mitch tasked the students to create an initiative to work on measuring excellence in everything they do and more importantly identify ways to continue to improve the operations each and every staff member provides every day.

Students had to give their initiative a ‘name’ and come up with ideas as to how the existing 27 Fasset staff members would buy into their ideas and whether they are feasible to run as well as being cost effective. Students also had to create a customer charter/promise with a 10 point plan that would show their ideas to the tenants as well as how they were going to launch their initiative.

The 4 groups had their heads down, mind-mapping their thoughts and ideas and soon came up with ideas/logos/straplines which they were putting together to present to the judges. Students had just under 4 hours to finalise this task so were under pressure from the start.

Time was up and 16 very nervous students waited in their groups to see who would be picked to present first?

First team to present was “The Surpass Initiative” made up of Josh Dunham, Parul Obhrai, Louisa Jack & Joe Sewell.
Their idea was a points based rewards system which would allocate electronically via their ID badges when they had reached certain targets. The data was held on record boards around Hersham Place so staff could see their points rising. This led to rewards such as days out and extended holidays and treats. The team hoped that the communication between the maintenance team and the tenants can potentially be improved, therefore bridging the gap and forming a new rewards initiative that all staff would want to make successful.

RES Apprentice 2015 Round 1

STRIVE – Team members, Connor Scott, Jamie Wells, Matt Squelch and Zuliza McKenzie.
Their idea was a monetary related bonus scheme. Alongside the annual staff appraisal each Fasset staff member would also make a quarterly pledge and although this would cost Fasset £400 for each member of staff this would in turn ensure staff improve their knowledge by using the pledge money towards training needs/performance related activities. This in turn would help them in their job role and become, overall, a more effective staff member.

RES Apprentice 2015 Round 1

SHAPE – Team members Danny De’Gaetano, Danny Kamal, Harry Florio and Scott Buckley.
This teams motto was “Show Hospitality and Promote Enterprise”. The teams main idea was supplementary budgeting, the concept of which was to give each tenant that is loyal to Fasset a one-off initial monetary allowance to spend on luxuries for their offices, which are outside of their tenancy agreement. When these allowances were spent the hope is that the tenants would want to continue with these luxuries which would become chargeable. Profit would be split between the Fasset staff. This would hopefully lead to increased tenant and staff satisfaction and improved Fasset reputation.

RES Apprentice 2015 Round 1

Above & Beyond – Team members Alex Drummond, Ryan O’Connor, Will Whitmore & Tattiana Lowe.
With ideas such as Motivation Monday, a 5 weekly rewards based evaluation scheme and refresher training. These ideas focused strongly on the Fasset staff members rewarding them when they went Above and Beyond.

RES Apprentice 2015 Round 1

After all teams presented, Mitch Avis and Richard Berry, who were on the judging panel deliberated over the 4 teams ideas and who was going to be unfortunate enough to be ‘fired’.

Each team received valuable feedback and were all praised for their outstanding and professional manner in which they approached this task and the ideas they managed to come up with in such a short space of time.

The team which impressed Mitch & Richard the most was “The Surpass Initiative” followed closely by Above & Beyond and with STRIVE taking 3rd place.

RES Apprentice 2015 Round 1

This meant that SHAPE were ‘fired’ out of the competition mainly because their ideas were focusing on the tenants rather than the staff members of Fasset and this was outside of the original brief given to them.

12 students now will go through to face the 2nd round of the competition which takes place at The Bingham Hotel, Richmond on the 15th October 2014.

Well done to all students who put themselves forward to take part in this competition and good luck to those going through to the next round.

Words from Mitch “The students get better year on year and this in his opinion was the best group of students so far who all worked well together as teams and presented very professionally."

Hersham Place Technology Park is located in the Borough of Elmbridge in Surrey. Currently there are 31 companies located onsite, with 800 people doing business daily. Anchor occupier Air Products awarded regional parks operator Fasset the contract to transform their 170,000 ft2 site into a multi-tenanted business park. Full tenant listing is available on

The Park can also accommodate longer term leases, with bespoke space solutions available from 1,200ft2 to 5,650 ft2, in collaboration with letting agents Hurst Warne.

All sales enquiries:

For information about being involved with The Apprentice Competition please contact Sarah Maton - Business Liaison Manager on either 01932 242994 X361 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 Next > End >>

Page 4 of 4
Rydens Enterprise School and Sixth Form College, part of The Howard Partnership Trust. The Howard Partnership Trust: Registered Office: Lower Road, Effingham, Surrey, KT24 5JR. Registered in England and Wales. Company Number: 07597068. An exempt charitable trust.