Sixth formers from a High Wycombe school triumphed after a head to head final with schools from across the county in the 2019 Big Bucks Sales Challenge at Pinewood Studios.

The seven participating schools – Amersham School, Buckinghamshire College Group, Highcrest Academy (the winners), John Colet, Sir William Ramsay School, The Buckingham School and The Misbourne School – were teamed up with entrepreneurial businesses to develop essential employability skills in the competition organised by the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership’s Skills Hub.

Align JV, Serious Brands, ANT Telecom, June Medical, Career Workshops and Recruitment, Verizon and Thomas International joined forces to mentor the teams and provide them with real life experience of the workplace.

In the first round of the challenge, each school ran a competition within the year group, with teams of up to six students presenting a sales pitch to sell their school to a prospective student.

The winning team chosen then went to visit their supporting business and spend the day seeing for themselves what happens behind the scenes in the real world of work.

In the final, it was the students’ job to now sell their supporting business to prospective young recruits as a great place to work.

Rob Evans, careers leader at Highcrest Academy, explained the value of the sales challenge: “Activities like this make a real difference for our students and the impact can be transformational. Seeing a group of students forming a supportive team and developing their skills is a very rewarding experience.

“I’m very proud of our students: they worked really hard and delivered an excellent presentation. Thanks to the Bucks Skills Hub for organising it and to ANT Telecom for their excellent support.”

Klaus Allion, MD at ANT Telecommunications Ltd, echoed: “We’ll now use Highcrest’s presentation to attract future talent to our workplace. It’s allowed us to see our business through young people’s eyes and has been so rewarding to see the team evolve throughout the challenge.”