Ruth Badger, a former candidate on TV show The Apprentice, has given her expertise to Birmingham students hoping to be the entrepreneurs of the future.

A 16-strong crop of hopefuls will be battling it out in the boardroom to be named Lord Alan Sugar’s next apprentice in this year’s series.

Flying the flag for Birmingham is 25-year-old technology entrepreneur Nick Holzherr, who first revealed his business acumen as a nine-year-old when he sold golf balls back to golfers.

The Aston University graduate has been given a few tips on how to avoid the wrath of Lord Sugar by former finalist Ruth Badger.

Ms Badger, from Wolverhampton, shot to fame on the second series of the BBC1 programme, earning an army of fans for her no-nonsense approach.

The 33-year-old was in the city giving a talk to sixth form students at Birmingham City Business School. And she said honesty was the best policy with Lord Sugar.

“I never read the briefs on the contestants beforehand,” said Ms Badger. “All I have to do is look at the photo and think ‘oh my God’. The briefs never tell you the truth. People think running around being bolshy is sales and it’s not. My genuine advice to any apprentice is to be honest – because he will find you out.”

Ms Badger made it to the final in 2006 but was narrowly beaten by Michelle Dewbery, who was hired by Lord Sugar.

She also later worked for the Amstrad multi-millionaire for six months, and revealed that Apprentice contestants see very little of him off-screen.