The Company of the Year Junior Achievement Awards took place last week and showcased the culmination of the Company Programme. Sponsored for the fourth successive year by Boston Charitable Foundation, the programme aims to challenge local Year 12 students to establish and run a company over the course of an academic year.

Junior Achievement team Elixir, from Queen Elizabeth II High School, won the Boston Group Award for Junior Achievement Student Company of the Year with the creation of a children’s picture book.

The team – Charlie Milner, Isaac Sanderson, Heather Black, Rachael Tumelty, Emma Davies, Cliodhna Caley, Rhian O’Leary and Katie Watterson – were mentored by Jason Spooner from Manx Telecom. The book ‘Isle of Monsters’ impressed the judges with the “simple but professional product which had lots of potential”, and was seen as “fun and educational with an inspiring moral tale.”

Presenting the award was Boston Group’s Director, Ruth Robinson, who said of Elixir; “In their panel interview they demonstrated they functioned well as a team and were able to identify how they had developed their skills throughout the process. They also gained top marks for their presentation which was both relevant and engaging.”

Elixir will now go on to represent the Isle of Man at the YA-YE Europe Company of the Year competition in Berlin where they will be competing against 38 other teams from across Europe.

Company of the Year runner up was Les Petites Terres from Ballakermeen High School with their handcrafted terrariums, and third place was awarded to Nobelium from King Williams College with their range of products that uses nano-suction technology so they stick to any non-grain flat surface.

Speaking at the Awards, Junior Achievement Chief Executive Sue Cook congratulated all the teams. “The standard of entries this year was phenomenally high and the judges had a really difficult job selecting the winners, so close were the marks. After the presentations were over and the students had left, the judges spent another hour and a half deliberating before arriving at their decision.

We’re enormously grateful to the Boston Charitable Foundation for their continued support, also to our business mentors who are with the students every step of the way and to our student ambassadors who’ve been through the competition process so can offer the teams invaluable advice.

The Junior Achievement “dream” is to be able to reach as many students as possible and equip them with the skills and confidence they’re going to need to get a job. The Company Programme is designed to do exactly that and students who take part are always going to be ahead of the rest in what’s now a relentless race for jobs.

Our work is to help create the next generation of entrepreneurs. Perhaps even the next Fraser Doherty. Who knows?”