A RECRUITMENT specialist whose first business was washing cars in Rowhedge is set to compete for a £250,000 investment from Britain’s most belligerent boss.
James White, 26, is one of the candidates hoping to win approval from Lord Alan Sugar when the new series of BBC favourite The Apprentice kicks off on Wednesday.
The entrepreneur, who now owns his own company called Right Time Recruitment, believes his business acumen started to shine through at a young age.
He said: “When I was 12 or 13 I was running a couple of paper rounds but I just wanted to do more.
“So I set up my own car wash business – it was called Star Wash and I would go around offering to clean people’s cars.
“I really enjoyed buying and selling things so naturally I got the nickname Del Boy.
“Absolutely nobody is surprised I’m going to be on the show.
“Whenever I have told people they have always said they could see me going on it at some stage.”
Despite the fearsome reputation of Amstrad tycoon Lord Sugar, and his trusted aides Karen Brady and Claude Littner, James believes he has the ability to impress during the process and won’t be leaving in the back of the infamous taxi straight away.
He said: “I’m going to analyse everybody else to start with.
“I definitely do not want to be one of the people who tries to take a back seat.
“I want to be right at the front from the off – there is no point trying to be fake or someone who are not because you are always going to get found out eventually.
“When it comes to the boardroom, a lot of the candidates scream a lot.
“I don’t want to shout if I need to be heard but I will definitely speak up when it is needed.”
James is confident he has the charm and the experience to get Lord Sugar on side during the process which is often described as the world’s toughest job interview.
He said: “Me and Lord Sugar had quite a similar up bringing.
“I ran the car washing business for four years when I was 13 and he did similar things when he was young.
“I think he will like me. I am a bit of a cheeky chap and I come from pretty humble beginnings.
“Hopefully he will be able to relate to me a bit and we will get on well.”
The 26-year-old went to Sir Charles Lucas secondary school , now Colchester Academy in Greenstead, and Colchester Sixth Form College before continuing his studies at Keele University in Stoke-on-Trent.
He is now based in Birmingham but the Colchester United fan insists he has not forgotten his roots.
He said: “I’m still an Essex boy at heart, most definitely.
“When I finished university I applied for jobs in lots of different places and ended up in Birmingham.
“After four years working for them I broke away and set up my own business and things are going really well.”