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13th series of Apprentice

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Lord Sugar put 18 candidates through their paces for a chance to win £250,000 investment for their business

Lord Sugar will be joined by business heavyweights Baroness Karren Brady and Claude Littner as the aspiring entrepreneurs embark on the gruelling 12-week selection process that will pit them against one another.

Returning to Wednesdays this year, the 13th series of the show will air weekly with the final boardroom and successful candidate revealed in December.

Over the last six years, Lord Sugar has invested £1.5m of his money into six fledgling businesses - and the bar is set high for this year’s candidates to be the best of the best as they fight for Lord Sugar’s investment.

This year, the series has attracted applicants from a range of business sectors - from fashion and construction to floristry and engineering - who will have to adapt quickly to work as a team and avoid the boardroom firing. With tasks including creating a range of burgers, branding and selling robots, to planning a premium corporate experience at a sports event and running a doggy day care, the candidates will be tested outside their comfort zones to truly showcase their business know-how.

The selection process will throw the candidates into tasks that are bigger than ever, as Lord Sugar challenges the candidates to prove to him they would be able to grow a business in today’s tough climate - as he explains in the first boardroom of the series: “We’re in strange times now, with Brexit. But be under no illusion, in this process I’m the one who decides who’s going to remain and I’m the one who decides who’s going to leave - simple as that.”

On hand guiding Lord Sugar throughout the process are his trusted and long-time business associates Karren Brady and Claude Littner, who will be observing the candidates every move throughout the 12 weeks.

Comedian Rhod Gilbert resumes his role at the helm of sister show You’re Fired, transmitting at 10pm each week on BBC Two, straight after the main show. Casting a wry eye over each week’s events, Rhod will be joined by a raft of celebrity fans and business professionals to dissect and debate the progress of the race to win the ultimate business opportunity.

Fan favourite The Final Five will be returning ahead of Week 11, revealing the stories behind each budding business partner. Why I Fired Them will also be back as the series draws to a close, with Lord Sugar giving viewers more insight into his decision-making in the boardroom throughout the series.

Viewers are invited to delve deeper into The Apprentice world on the official website. Presiding over all things online, BBC Radio 1’s Matt Edmondson returns with his inimitable preview of this year’s runners and riders in the iPlayer exclusive Meet The Candidates.

From weekly highlights to a peek behind the curtain at audition tapes and Honest Subtitles, there’s a wealth of additional content for series devotees.

Offering the very latest news throughout the series are the official social media channels. Find the series on Facebook and Twitter for more exclusives and opportunities to engage with the show.

The Apprentice is a Boundless production for BBC One. Cal Turner is Senior Executive Producer; David Vallance is Executive Producer; Paul Broadbent is the Series Editor; Hannah Wyatt is MD for Boundless and Sarah Clay is Commissioning Editor for the BBC.

The Apprentice will air weekly on Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC One and BBC One HD from Wednesday 4th October.

Building the skills to pay the bills: Trainee apprentice secures full-time placement

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 TALENTED: Ameha had 13 years’ experience working in the construction industry abroad before moving to Leeds to work as a pizza delivery man whilst studying at Leeds College of Building

TALENTED: Ameha had 13 years’ experience working in the construction industry abroad before moving to Leeds to work as a pizza delivery man whilst studying at Leeds College of Building

A former trainee on an innovative Leeds City Council heritage and construction skills programme has claimed a prestigious industry prize.

After finishing second last year in the national finals of the Construction Industry Training Board’s Skillbuild Show while a participant on the council’s ‘Re-Making Leeds’ scheme, Ameha Shewaye Bantiwered, 39, has now gone one step better and been named the winner in the 2016 category after again impressing the judges with his plastering skills.

Having now graduated from the Re-Making Leeds programme and secured a full-time job at Ornate Interiors, who were previously his placement provider, Ameha’s success is another great example of how the scheme is providing meaningful skill training to people of all ages.

Funded by £810,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Re-Making Leeds, which is delivered by the council in partnership with the Leeds College of Building and York College, offers trained professionals like Ameha the chance to further develop skills in heritage construction and short training courses and events for people to learn and up-skill.

Previously, Ameha had 13 years’ experience working in the construction industry in Italy before moving to Leeds where he was earning a living as a pizza delivery driver whilst studying at Leeds College of Building.

Young people also have the opportunity to feature on the programme and take part in work-based training including; brick work, carpentry and joinery, stonemasonry, painting and decorating, lime mortar plastering and rendering, wall and floor tiling and specialist lead work.

Now in its third year, the 2016/2017 intake of trainees are now currently learning their craft with a range of placement providers.

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for employment, enterprise and opportunity said: “Since launching our Re-Making Leeds programme it has been fantastic to see so many of our graduates put the wide-ranging skills they have learned to excellent use and embark on a career in the heritage and construction industries.

“Ameha is a great example of what Re-Making Leeds can offer to trained professionals who are looking to re-skill, and it has made us very proud to see him named as a winner in this year’s Skillbuild Show. This sits asides the opportunities that are also available to young people to take part in the scheme and learn their trade from a host of experts at our placement providers.

“Once again I would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund, our partners and of course our placement providers who have played such an important part in ensuring Re-Making Leeds is achieving such positive results.”