ABP Southampton apprentices Curtis Meredith and Morgan Rodaway braved the Dragon’s Den as part of a fun inter-active learning session at the Port of Southampton.

The 17-year-olds recreated the look of the Dragon’s Den set by staging the event in one of the port’s pumping stations.

Morgan, an electrical apprentice and Curtis, a mechanical apprentice, were set a task to design a planter and they came up with four concepts to pitch to the dragons.

Head of Maintenance, Jason Bonnett, explained how the idea came about.

“We wanted to set Morgan and Curtis a challenging project that would test their current knowledge and push their boundaries,” he said.

Their ideas for the planters took their influence from the port environment with everything from a container to a boat and an air-bridge included in their proposals.

Morgan and Curtis presented their design ideas in a set they had dressed with leather chairs – and the dragons Jason Bonnett, ABP Southampton Mechanical Engineering Team Leader Neil Kittow, Ricky Phillips and ABP Apprentice Manager Julie Freemantle were blown away by the professional way they handled the situation.

“We’ve all been really impressed by the way they made the set look and the way they presented their ideas.

“They have taken the ideas and really thought about how they could be executed and that is something that an industrial designer would do.

“What’s been great with this process is that the senior guys in the team have really got involved as well and have helped them to shape their ideas,” explained Jason.

After much deliberation, the dragons chose the shipping container design and now Curtis and Morgan have until April 2 to make their design a reality.

Both Curtis and Morgan said they enjoyed the Dragon’s Den approach to the project and they were now looking forward to the challenge of making the container planter.