Jamie Oliver sets Southsea students a cool summer challenge

Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

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CELEBRITY chef Jamie Oliver has set some students a cool challenge – running his ice cream van at Gunwharf.

The culinary star has been giving tips to the group of business-minded youngsters who will take over the van, outside his restaurant at Gunwharf, for the summer as part of their business and economics course.

THAT'S ICE!  Jarrard Hayler, 17, Jamie Oliver and Edward Hardy, 17. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122330-587)

THAT'S ICE! Jarrard Hayler, 17, Jamie Oliver and Edward Hardy, 17. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122330-587)

The group of eight students from St John’s College in Southsea will be responsible for all aspects of the business including budgeting, stock control, and a staff rota.

They will be treated as an employee of Jamie’s and receive benefits as well as their wage.

Edward Hardy, 17, leader of the project, said: ‘It’s really good. It’s going to be such a fun job, something we can be really proud of.

‘It’s going to look so good on our personal statement to work for such a massive company.

‘Jamie was really good. He’s a nice guy, very friendly.

‘He told us that he was really interested in what we are going to do and told us that we had some interesting ideas.’

The students are aiming to top the record for the total number of ice creams sold at the van in one day, which stands at around 1,600.

They are hoping to bring this up to 2,000.

Jarrard Hayler, also 17, added: ‘I’m ecstatic. It’s given us a summer job to give us a bit of work.

‘We’re working for Jamie Oliver – you couldn’t really work for a better man. He was really nice. It’s going to be a really good few weeks, working with my mates.’

Jamie, who was at Gunwharf yesterday to launch the venture, said: ‘It’s great. They look lovely, they seem like lovely boys. It’s really exciting. They are clearly bright – that will be great for any business.

‘We try to get involved with local schools and colleges.’

Jamie spent some time working with the students and giving them some tips about how they can improve sales of the ice creams. And he said he feels the experience will benefit the students.

He said: ‘I’m sure it will open lots of doors but the most valuable lesson is learning common sense and reading the public and listening to the public. It’s a really interesting challenge. What’s exciting for us is we don’t know what these boys are going to do. We’ll see what happens.

‘But without doubt we will always learn. We are faced with the public every day – we can’t help but learn.’

The students will start working on Monday for seven weeks.