The Apprentice: The most successful recruits to have worked with Alan Sugar

The format of The Apprentice has changed somewhat over the years. Originally, the programme aired on BBC Two but its popularity saw the show promoted to BBC One for the third series onwards.

Additionally, contestants on seasons one to six were battling to win the £100,000 a year role of Sugar’s “apprentice” at Amstrad or one of his other companies, though series seven changed the prize to that of a £250,000 investment in a business idea – granting Sugar a 50 per cent stake.

2005: Tim Campbell

Tim Campbell was the winner of the Beeb’s first series of The Apprentice back in 2005, which cemented his position with Sugar. Prior to applying he worked for the London Underground as a senior planner in the strategy department.

Given his background, Campbell was named a project director to market an anti-wrinkle cream for Amstrad’s health and beauty division and, while his one-year contract was extended, he quit a year later in 2007 to spread his wings on his own.

He went on to create the Bright Ideas Trust, a social enterprise that nurtures young aspiring entrepreneurs by providing access to finance, mentors and professional services. Interestingly, the primary focus of Bright Ideas, which bills itself as a charity, is to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Campbell also received the MBE for Enterprise Culture in 2012 and was named London’s ambassador for training and enterprise by Boris Johnson, and the UK government secretary of state’s enterprise advisor by Vince Cable MP.

2006: Michelle Dewberry

The show’s second winner Michelle Dewberry had an appetite for enterprise from a young age, claiming to have worked three jobs and read business books while her friends were chasing boys. Seemingly, it’s that attitude that lea to her success on The Apprentice.

Before winning the approval of Sugar, Dewberry specialised in technical management and was headhunted telecoms firm Tiscali during a time of operational change that she oversaw, which prompted her to develop her own business transformation consultancy.

Having completed a year with Sugar, even less time than Campbell’s stint, Dewberry has consulted for the likes of Royal Mail and also young entrepreneurs in government support. She currently has a weekly slot on Sky News and ITV’s Good Morning Britain, where she can be found discussing business and politics.

Read more on The Apprentice:

2008: Lee McQueen

Having won series four, Lee McQueen was a recruitment consultant veteran with ten years of industry experience. He infamously called in sick on his first day to work for Sugar but went on to become the development director of then-new Amscreen division with Sugar’s son Simon, the CEO.

When leaving the business after a two-year stint to launch his own venture, Lord Sugar commended McQueen for his “important contribution” to the business. McQueen decided to harness his strengths and experience in recruitment, now charged up with experience of The Apprentice, to open the Raw Talent Academy.

The company has won awards for Young Business Person and Small Business, and prides itself on “unearthing hidden sales talent, showcasing their ability and nurturing success”.

Raw Talent works partners and helps them to look beyond degrees and qualifications to see if candidates have what it takes to thrive in real sales environments.

Continue reading on the next page to discover the most successful candidates from the new format of the show.

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