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Student blots out wastage

Finding an innovative approach to dealing with five tons of ink has led to Christopher Jones, 21, winning the top prize in this year's competition to win "The UK's Most Enterprising Student", writes Roger Trapp.

Mr Jones, who is studying astrophysics at University College London, won the award while working for Clear View in Hornsey, London, on an eight- week placement in the summer. The task he was set centred on the ink stored at places in a factory producing flexible packaging materials.

Bringing a fresh approach to the work, he proposed forming a new relationship with the supplier of the ink under which management of the ink would be subcontracted with the result that there would be less waste and increased efficiency.

In doing so, not only did he gain valuable work experience of the type that employers of all kinds are increasingly seeking, but he also made a significant impact on the company. According to the company he was "sharp and resourceful" with a business prowess that shone through and was widely admired. The company calculated that his project would save it about pounds 12,000 this year.

The project, which was awarded the top prize of pounds 1,000 in the Shell Technology Enterprise Programme (Step) that came to a climax this month, was one of more than 1,500 projects of this sort that took place over the summer.