Car salesman and memoirist Bill Cullen says he is hoping to bring a junior version of his popular Apprentice show to TV3 next year. Cullen will follow in the footsteps of Britain's Alan Sugar, targeting schools in a bid to find the best young Irish entrepreneurs.
"I think it is important to target these kids and put tasks in front of them so they can get thinking and get experience and be challenged from a young age," he said.
"These are our next generation. We are hoping it will be something similar to what Alan Sugar did in the UK Apprentice, and we are working out the details. It might be a case of introducing an Apprentice-style class in schools or maybe looking for them ourselves, but we will know very shortly what route we'll take," said Cullen.
The final of this year's Apprentice will air tomorrow night, when viewers will see Michelle Massey battle it out with Wexford native Niamh McDonald to win the €100,000-a-year contract with Cullen's motor group.
Cullen said both of the candidates have individual strengths but his final decision would be based on tomorrow night's final task.
"Michelle doesn't have the greatest education as she left home at the age of 15, but this gives her great street-smarts which are important, while Niamh is very collected, very capable but still quite young."
Cullen said he was disappointed with the standard of this year's candidates.
"Overall, the candidates have not been as strong as in previous years. What they have done is study previous shows and learn what to expect. If I had asked a candidate two years ago 'why should I not fire you?' they wouldn't have a great answer. Now I am getting lectures back which is a new thing, and they are prepared to take me on."
Cullen also said the quality of candidates' CVs was worrying. "This is actually an issue with this entire generation. Just printing off 500 CVs and sending them to 500 employers is not good enough. You have to make each one individual to the employer and tell them why you would work well in their organisation. Anything else is a waste of time."
Get off to a profitable sports betting start today at sportsbetting.co.uk