The Junior Apprentice in Ballymena

Left to right: Deborah Fitzsimmons (Ballymena Business Centre), Mayor, Cllr. Maureen Morrow (Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough), Noel Mulholland (Michelin Development Ballymena), Mike Cole (Head of Public Affairs), Jane Hanna (Young Enterprise NI)

Michelin has been part of the Ballymena community for over 50 years, and as part of our legacy we are committed to ensuring this community continues to thrive through the support of Michelin Development Ltd.

Working with local Councils and Enterprise Agencies, Invest NI and the Ulster Bank we are supporting small and medium size enterprises to grow and create new jobs, as well as attract major investors into the local area.

Longer term sustainability of economic growth will depend on future generations taking up the challenge of running a business in a fast changing modern world.

To encourage this, Noel Mulholland, Michelin Development’s business manager in Ballymena, came up with the idea of running a Junior Apprentice competition. Along with Young Enterprise NI and Ballymena Business Centre, he invited local schools to take part.

Four pupils from eight school attended the event on 13 June and were given expert tips before setting out in the town with a budget of £150. Their aim, through negotiation on price, was to purchase as many items as possible from a pre-defined list of goods that would be of benefit to their school.

The teams purchased their chosen items from local traders in Ballymena Town Centre, using their powers of negotiation to get the best deal possible. All goods purchased were retained by their school.

Pupils from St. Louis Grammar get the deal done

Afterwards, the teams returned to The Braid Town Hall to report on their results and present their purchasing strategy, negotiating tips and outcomes to the audience and a panel of judges.

The best negotiators award, for achieving the greatest discount on the items purchased, went to St. Patrick’s College, with Slemish College in runner up position, and St. Louis Grammar a very close third.

The best presentation award went to Cullybackey College, with Dunclug College in runner up position.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Mayor, Maureen Morrow, spoke to the pupils at the start of the event and presented the awards at the end of the day.

Date: 12th June 2019

Pictured are the winners of best negotiators award, St. Patrick’s College