Business-savvy students from Cheadle Hulme High School Sixth Form beat off competition from 17 other local teams to win the Manchester heat of ICAEW’s national business and accounting competition, BASE.
Over 100 local students attended the AJ Bell stadium in Salford where they found out what it is like to walk in the shoes of finance professionals. They focused on key employability skills to formulate strategic business advice for a real life organisation and delivered this to their board of directors, just like real chartered accountants.
Cheadle Hulme High School Sixth Form impressed the panel of judges and will go on to represent Manchester at the National Final which takes place in June next year. A team from Manchester Grammar School were the runners up.
It was just one of 43 heats attracting over 3,000 students from across the UK in a fun, challenging competition format designed to give experience of a career in finance.
ICAEW Regional Director for the North West, Melanie Christie said: “I was really impressed with Cheadle Hulme’s performance and strategic thinking. These budding business advisers looked beyond the numbers and they also showed they had an excellent instinct for business and ethics in order to give well-rounded advice. Congratulations to all the teams who took part. I expect I’ll be seeing more of these young people in leading business roles in the future.”
“Students should not lose sight of the importance of developing skills and experience, alongside their academic achievements. It is vital that students are given opportunities such as BASE to develop these softer skills outside of the classroom”, added Melanie.
This year’s business challenge was based upon a media production company – something Head Judge, Elaine Coates, knows all about in her capacity as Finance Manager at ITV.
Elaine commented: “It offered an interesting insight into the different financial challenges our industry faces with ever-changing competition and threats. We were looking for how the teams included ethical and financial data to support their suggestions to the board.
“Cheadle Hulme High School Sixth Form delivered a very comprehensive recommendation as did runners up Manchester Grammar. Both teams can be very proud of their approach, but Cheadle Hulme just edged it.”
Elaine added: “BASE is a great example of how schools, employers and young people can work together to improve skills, and can also give business leaders the opportunity to learn what motivates the next generation of talent.”
BASE links schools, students and employers to develop employability skills and provide an insight into what a career in accountancy, business and finance might be like.
The competition has seen more than 13,000 students take part since it began in 2009.
The BASE competition was supported by local firms such as Hurst, BDO, Beever and Struthers, DTE Business Advisors, KPMG, Pomegranate Consulting, PWC, RSM and Mazars.