Gateway Academy pupils crowned Next Top Boss winners

29 March 2019

A team of pupils from The Gateway Academy have been named winners of this year's Thurrock's Next Top Boss competition.

The contest, which tasks students with working with local employers on real business challenges, concluded with an awards evening at South Essex College's Thurrock Campus on Thursday 28 March.

Thurrock's Next Top Boss is an annual competition run by Thurrock Council's Inspire Youth Hub, with students from nine of the borough's school and colleges taking part this year, as well as a team from Thurrock Youth Cabinet.

Pupils from The Gateway Academy came out on top after working with Mears on a new web page that highlights the exciting courses available to 14 to 17-year-olds in Thurrock through its schools programme in trades such as plumbing, carpentry, plastering and tiling.

The runners-up were a team from Grays Convent High School, who worked with Land of the Fanns on a business plan and funding application for a heritage project that seeks to capture what heritage means to people.

A number of local businesses partnered the teams, who were judged on criteria including their business plan and how they addressed the challenge set.

Other challenges this year included encouraging customers to recycle at intu Lakeside, improving the health and well-being of staff at HW Wilson and promoting apprenticeships at Thurrock Council.

Next year is the tenth anniversary of the competition and any businesses or organisations interested in being involved are encouraged to email

For more information about Thurrock’s Next Top Boss, go to

The businesses and organisations taking part in this year's Thurrock's Next Top Boss were:

  • HW Wilson Limited
  • intu Lakeside
  • Land of the Fanns Partnership Scheme
  • Mears
  • Riverside Community
  • Little Belhus Country Park Trust
  • Thurrock CVS
  • Thurrock Council

The schools and colleges were:

  • Grays Convent High School
  • Harris Academy (Chafford Hundred)
  • Ortu Gable Hall School
  • Ortu Hassenbrook Academy
  • St Clere’s School
  • The Ockendon Academy and Studio School
  • The Gateway Academy
  • USP College, Palmer’s Campus
  • William Edwards School