Young Gloucester Entrepreneurs Win at European Final
Team from Cirencester College crowned winners at the Hyundai and Young Enterprise Skills for the Future European Final in Prague, which promotes STEM skills to young people
On 10 June SoberDrive, from Cirencester Sixth Form College, beat 20 other teams from across Europe to win the Hyundai Skills for the Future Award in Prague. The team progressed to this stage after being crowned champions of the Young Enterprise and Hyundai Skills for the Future UK Final, in May.
The student team included George and Edward Kershaw Houghton, Callum Coles, Samuel Roberts and Lauren Palmer, and was chosen based on their winning concept of a socially responsible company, helping to reduce drink driving related incidents.
Their product is a breathalyser incorporated within a car key; the results of which determine whether or not the ignition can be started. The group want to promote safe and responsible drinking, and the breathalyser allows users to make an informed decision on their suitability to drive.
The group said of their product: “We aim to reduce the level of drink driving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, ultimately saving lives.” The announcing of winners came after a tough day displaying their trade stands and presenting to a panel of judges.
Speaking of their recent success SoberDrive, said, “Winning the European Skills for the Future Final is an amazing feeling, the whole process has been challenging throughout, constantly pushing us to refine and improve our product. As a completely innovative product, the advice from industry experts has been invaluable and we cannot wait to take SoberDrive forward! Participating in Young Enterprise has helped us to develop our skills in ways we didn’t appreciate to begin with and has been invaluable in preparing us for employment and for running SoberDrive as a limited company.”
Hannah Clark, Innovation and Enterprise Manager at Cirencester Sixth Form College, who travelled with the team said, “It is fantastic to have come away as winners in Europe because the team have been amazing all year and this is exactly what they deserve. SoberDrive have a very exciting product and business model and for students of ages 17 and 18 it really shows how much you can achieve if you are prepared to work for it. The team are very impressive all with outstanding individual skills and I am very proud of them all. As a college we recognise the importance of enterprise education because it allows the students to gain real world skills that they would otherwise find difficult to gain.”
The Hyundai Skills for the Future programme is a partnership between Junior Achievement (JA) Europe (which Young Enterprise UK is a part of) and Hyundai, aimed at promoting a greater understanding among young people of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills, entrepreneurship and skills to improve their future employability.
During the three-year initiative, 10,000 young people aged between 15 and 18 in 15 countries across Europe will have the opportunity to try their hand at enterprise, learn valuable STEM skills and apply their knowledge in new ways.
Supported by teachers, they work with Hyundai business volunteers from across Europe. Over 400 Hyundai employees will volunteer during the three years.