This May the bosses of three well-known businesses will take an extraordinary leap of faith –allowing a group of 7 to 9 year kids to take over a part of their company for a week and allow them free reign to run it.
The kids will be running a booming chocolate company, a high end estate agent, and one of the UK’s most recognised celebrity magazines in the hope that their brief experience of adulthood will open their eyes to a bigger world and give them the confidence they’ll need in years to come, when they come to decide what they want to do for a living.
The kids will come from a broad range of backgrounds, and all over the country. Each child is full of potential, but as Britain’s shockingly low social mobility levels imply, some will need more help than others if they’re to realise it in adulthood.
In a dramatic social experiment based on a real world scheme the kids will be running the business together, under the watchful eye of the bosses. They’ll be taking on real jobs with real responsibilities, including cutting six figure property deals, creating and selling new product lines in a factory and running an edition of one of Britain’s best known magazines, interviewing celebrities and even meeting royalty.
Experts in social mobility, child psychology and educationalists will be watching their behaviour.
The project will be both magical and meaningful, with potentially life changing consequences. Through the often very funny stories of the kids’ remarkable take overs we will see how in modern Britain, our children’s ideas of where they sit in the social pecking order are already beginning to be shaped by the age of seven, and how quickly these can be altered through their sudden entry into positions of real power and responsibility in worlds that many of them never knew existed.
Watch When I Grow Up on Channel 4 on Thursday 2nd May, Thursday 9th May and Thursday 16th May 219.