Promising youngsters '˜graduate' from EY development scheme

Three youngsters from Yorkshire schools have taken first place in an initiative to develop young people's business and employment skills.

The three winners of the Smart Futures scheme, ran by accountancy firm EY, successfully pitched to a Dragon’s Den-style team of experts their ideas for a smartphone app to accompany the Olympic Games in Rio.

The winning team consisted of Soren Nail from Greenhead College in Huddersfield, Bradley Steele from Wyke 6th Form Collage in Hull and Chelsea Hargeaves of Outwood Grange Academy in Wakefield.

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The trio put together their business plan and pitch with just a few hours notice before delivering it to the panel, which included EY senior partner Stuart Watson.

Mark Casci, business editor of The Yorkshire Post, who also sat on the panel, said: “Myself and the rest of the judges were, with no exaggeration, blown away by the confidence and poise with which all the candidates carried themselves.”

To qualify for the Smart Futures scheme candidates must be in state education and eligible for free school meals.

Each candidate is allocated a EY Foundation mentor to develop their skills.