• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Young Apprentice, BBC One, Thursday

It's time for the latest series of Young Apprentice (Thursday, BBC One, 9pm) but Lord Grumpy doesn't look pleased to be faced with another room full of teenagers fidgeting in their new suits and wiping sweat from their over-active pores.

The first thing he did was issue a warning about mobile phones. "The only time you will be using your phones is to do business," he said, "not for playing Angry Birds." And you could see the teenagers thinking: "Angry Birds? Get with it, Grandad. No-one's playing Angry Birds any more."

But they laughed nervously instead because people always laugh at bad jokes made by rich people.

The teenagers were then divided into boys and girls and went off to choose names for their teams. The boys decided Odyssey sounded suitably epic but the problem was how to spell it. "I've got Odessy," said one of them, pointing at his pad. It was not a good start.

Perhaps the girls would be better. No, they wouldn't. They ended up in a laundrette because the task they'd been set by Lord Sugar was to make money from old clothes and the clothes needed washing. The girls stood vacantly in front of one of the machines. "Is this where the washing powder goes?" said one of them, pointing at the slot for the money. The staff then pointed out the machine they were trying to do the washing in was a tumble drier.

So what does it all tell us about teenagers? Does it prove they're getting dumber? Does it show they are so hypnotised by digital technology that they no longer know basics like how to spell or what a washing machine looks like?

Probably not. In fact, what Young Apprentice seems to prove is teenagers haven't morphed into some horrible new species – the rest of us have just got older and think they have. Teenagers are the same as they've always been: a skin of cockiness hiding a heart of gaucheness.

If anything, it's the grown-ups, not the teenagers, on Young Apprentice who have the worrying attitude – in particular Lord Sugar. He said this week that it's much harder now for young people to find jobs and he believes young entrepreneurs like the ones on his show will bring prosperity back to the country.

But he continues to flaunt an anti-education prejudice. He likes to point out, for example, that he left school at 16 – he did it again on Thursday – as if this was some kind of achievement and screws up his face with suspicion whenever he sees a CV with lots of qualifications on it.

Like Max's CV for example. Max has 10 straight As but this seemed to be a problem for Sugar.

"You are an exceptionally intelligent fellow," the Lord told him. "But I'm wondering whether you're one of those guys who's a bit of a thinker and less of a doer." In other words: the boardroom has no truck with the achievements of the school room. Is this what The Apprentice has become – or perhaps what it's always been: pro-business but anti-think? I rather think it has.

Contextual targeting label: 
Careers and Jobs

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

123607