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Cambridge sixth-form student beats off stiff competition to win National Schools’ Challenge 2014

The TARGETjobs National Schools’ Challenge 2014, in partnership with Siemens and organised by TARGETjobs Events, took place at the incredible Siemens’ Crystal Building in London’s Docklands on 3 April

The TARGETjobs National Schools’ Challenge 2014, in partnership with Siemens and organised by TARGETjobs Events, took place at the incredible Siemens’ Crystal Building in London’s Docklands on 3 April. The winner was Imogen Grant, a student from Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge. In second place was Marcus Williamson from Manchester Grammar School and in third place was Simran Patel from Queen Mary’s Grammar School, Walsall. Imogen wins £500 for herself and a further £1,000 for her school.

Records were broken with over 5,000 school and college students registered for the Challenge from all over the UK. They all took a lengthy online intelligence and skills test designed by testing experts Cut-e and the 100 with the highest scores were invited to the Finals in London. There they took part in a variety of practical tests which included individual and group exercises devised by Cut-e and the partner organisations to test their decision making, creativity and business awareness. The exercises were based on the challenges they will face at assessment centre and everyone, not just the winners, gained valuable practice for the future.

The TARGETjobs National Schools’ Challenge is open to all school/college students with no targeting or pre-selection whatsoever. The winner of the Challenge was the student who could best show that he/she had the personal skills to match their obvious intelligence.

The TARGETjobs National School’s Challenge was organised in partnership with Siemens (the headline partner) and is supported by a number of impressive names in recruitment: BDO, EY, Jaguar Land Rover, Network Rail, PwC, RBS Group, SSP UK, TATA Steel and The University of Law. Each organisation brought four representatives to answer the students’ questions about their school leaver offerings and to engage in valuable networking. The presence and support of top employers shows how important it is for UK businesses to identify the talented leaders of the future.

For the first time, students were split into ten regional teams to compete against different regions on the day. The best performing region on the day was Scotland.

Runner-up Marcus Williamson, from Manchester Grammar School, said:  "I really enjoyed the final of the Challenge, it was not only a good opportunity to make some new friends, it was also a great opportunity to talk with some big UK employers (and also the prospect of winning money!) The networking was invaluable and the challenges were great fun, and I would encourage anyone who likes a challenge to do it next year." 

Claire Wright, Marketing Communications Manager, Graduates & Skills at headline partner Siemens said: "We wanted to partner with the National Schools’ Challenge as it's a great opportunity to engage with bright school and college students from across the UK, whilst allowing them to identify and develop their employability skills. Those who made the Final got an invaluable opportunity to meet and network with employers and learn more about school leaver programmes and graduate programmes and what skills and aptitudes recruiters are looking for."