A FURIOUS businessman has slammed Apprentice star Lord Alan Sugar.
Geoff Turnbull, chairman of the Peterlee-based GT Group, is furious after comments the Amstrad boss made on the show last week.
“I was appalled to hear Lord Sugar’s comments on The Apprentice that engineers are bad at business,” said Mr Turnbull.
Sacking design engineer Glenn Ward, Lord Sugar told him: “I have never yet come across an engineer that can turn his hands to business.”
However, Mr Turnbull says the success of his engineering business proves Lord Sugar is wrong.
“I started as an engineering apprentice at the age of 15, but that did not prevent me from launching my own company,” he said.
“Today GT Group is an international engineering design and manufacturing organisation, specialising in environmental engineering, exporting products and services to more than 60 countries throughout the world.
“Employing 300 people, GT Group turns over £30million and has orders in place to take the turnover to £60million in the next four years – not bad for someone with an engineering background!
“In one sweeping – and misguided – statement, Lord Sugar has sent out the message to millions that engineers do not have the capability to be successful entrepreneurs.
“Some may argue popular TV reality shows such as The Apprentice can act as an inspiration for would be entrepreneurs.
“Others, however, feel The Apprentice no more portrays the reality of business management, ambition and acumen than Coronation Street is an accurate reflection of life in the North of England. After this week’s episode, I am now firmly on the side of the show’s detractors.
“Young engineers should forget The Apprentice and Lord Sugar’s mistaken opinion. The message we have to communicate to young people is that proper apprenticeships, where you can earn while you learn, and engineering can lead to a successful and fulfilling career, whether they work within a company or run one themselves.”