Image: BBC Image: BBC

Businesses are being deprived of potentially ideal candidates because of the influence of reality TV shows like The Apprentice, according to new research.

A study, by CV-Library, found that over half of workers in the UK use reality TV programmes to decide whether or not they'd like to work in a particular industry. And Lord Sugar's The Apprentice is the second most damaging programme on TV.

Forty-per cent of the 2,000 workers surveyed said they were put off a career in business after watching The Apprentice. In comparison, 59% said reality TV shows do give a good representation of their industries, and 71% believe they are beneficial to the industry.

Hotel Hell was the only programme found to be more damaging that The Apprentice (44%).

On the other hand, programmes like Great British Bank Off (41%), Pet Rescue (40%), Traffic Cops (38%), Masterchef (38%) and One Born Every Minute (35%) were found to have a positive impact on people considering careers in those professions.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, said: “There are so many external factors that influence an individual’s career choices, and the growth of profession-based reality TV series, like Kitchen Nightmares and Traffic Cops, provides a new way to learn more about a particular industry. While this can benefit organisations in these sectors, it can be harmful to others, as some of these shows might be scripted or over-dramatised for the cameras, providing candidates with a false portrayal of what it’s like to work there.

“Many organisations are already struggling to attract professionals to key industries, such as education, the public sector and hospitality. Discovering that some shows can have a negative impact on hiring in their sectors is another potential set-back for employers, especially when you look at the business sector as a whole because it’s so vast. Businesses must combat the negative stigma associated with certain industry-focused TV shows to help candidates see the real profession, not the dramatised version, and ensure their pipeline of skilled talent is not harmed.”