The format of reality TV show The Apprentice will be altered so that contestants will get a more realistic apprenticeship experience according to the show’s head honcho, business magnate Sir Alan Sugar.
The new series will still feature aspiring young businessmen and women, each competing to win a £10, 000 per annum job with one of Sir Alan’s companies. However, rather than embarking on a series of projects, where each contestant is judged on his/her profit making and project-management abilities, hopefuls will instead be given apprenticeships with a number of blue-collar businesses.
Contestants will be split along gender lines, with the men being allocated work placements at an air-conditioning duct fabricators in Uttoxeter – an environment equally as challenging as any high-flying business enterprise according to Sir Alan. ‘They’ll be put through their paces, that’s for sure.’ claims the formidable entrepreneur. ‘They need to prove to me that they can survive this challenging environment.’
The wannabe tycoons can look forward to a series of gruelling apprenticeship tasks, including being sent to the stores to ask for a ‘long weight’. They will then be judged on how ‘long’ they ‘wait’ before they notice that the storeman is laughing at them. Those that survive the first sacking will then be exposed to a similar process involving a glass hammer, sky hooks and left-handed screwdrivers.
A number of small, tedious and repetitive jobs such as sweeping the workshop floor, cleaning the cutting press and polishing the foreman’s car also awaits them, weeding out contestants one by one. The final pair will then battle it out in gruelling initiative test in which their steel-toecap boots are welded together while their toolboxes are dipped in the galvanising tank, tools and all. Finally they will be held down by two burly duct fitters while Big Mandy from the canteen paints their genitals with a mixture of engineer’s marking blue and Swarfega.
Meanwhile the girls will also be having a tough time of it at Cindy’s Beauty Parlour, Maidenhead, where a relentless regime of hair sweeping and tea-making is on the menu. Successful candidates will then be required to demonstrate their shorthand and touch-typing skills at a local temping agency.
At long last a single plucky winner will emerge triumphant and will proudly take his or her place at Sir Alan’s side. This remarkable individual will be able to hold their head up high as Sir Alan utters those immortal words: ‘I’m sorry but we can’t afford to keep you on full-time – you’re fired.’
(Written 9 Mar 2009)