Apprentices grew their skills on challenge day

Apprentices grew their skills on challenge day

A group of our young operatives recently took part in our Apprentice of the Year challenge at an allotment in Stoke-on-Trent which is run by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust and our client, Steelite International. Later this month, we will reveal the overall winner and runners-up of the challenge, but before we do, find out what our apprentices learned during the day in this blog.

Tom Pearce

The challenge really helped me to develop my teamwork and communication skills as we all worked together to make over the allotment for the Root ‘n’ Fruit project. My favourite thing about the day was working alongside the other apprentices to tidy up the site so people in the local community can grow vegetables there.
James Riley

My role at Novus is as an apprentice painter, so it was good to get hands-on in the allotment and do something a bit different, and something I haven’t done before. I picked up a lot of new practical and theoretical skills and it was rewarding to know that all the hard work we put in on the day went towards helping the local community.

Glen Speight

I feel as if I really learned the value of team work and good communication during the challenge as we all had to work together so closely.  My favourite thing about taking part in the contest was knowing I‘d been chosen as one of the final seven apprentices. The nervous anticipation of not knowing what the challenges were was quite exciting and the satisfaction of seeing all our hard work result in a job well done was rewarding.

Paul Andrews

During the day, I really enjoyed figuring out alternative ways of completing work as we were on a very tight schedule and needed to work together. Seeing a few of the apprentices I met during the apprentice week last year was great, and it was amazing to meet Victor Moses of course! All in all the day was brilliant, and good fun as well.

Kyle Park

I developed many valuable interpersonal skills on the day, as I interacted with lots of different people and made sure I was always professional and friendly. The challenge required plenty of teamwork too, which helped me to build on my communication and motivational skills. My usual area of work is painting and decorating so it was great to do something a bit different.

Sharing ideas and successes about Learning and Development


Paul Nixon, our Learning and Development Advisor has been bringing likeminded people together to share their ideas, successes and pains. Here Paul tells us more about the Learning & Development gatherings…     Why do you hold a L&D gathering and who attends? I have been attending a gathering of Learning and Development professionals for the past 12 months.  The group meets every month in Manchester which poses two challenges for me.  Firstly, there is the commute to Manchester which eats up time in my day and, secondly, meeting every month was too much of a commitment.  I’m also a born and bred Stoke lad who wants to see innovation and a sense of community being developed in my city.  There is a quite a varied group of people that attend, all contributing unique and valuable experiences.  We have individuals from ICO, Leek United Building Society, Vodafone and Water Plus along with one or two independent consultants.   What have the group been discussing? When I set up the group, I was very clear about its purpose: sharing the successes we’ve recently had, the challenges we’ve faced and discussing any new trends, ideas or opportunities that may lie ahead.  This means everyone has a story to tell and experience to share.  It’s a relaxed, informal setting where people can speak openly, build relationships and find support.  There are only two major rules: no sales pitches and no touting for business!   What are the benefits to bringing likeminded people together? As the only person in Learning and Development at Novus, the group has provided me with a great opportunity to meet likeminded people who understand my successes and challenges.  Equally, hearing the experiences that other people have had is encouraging and motivating.  Learning about how other people have tackled similar problems helps me to be more creative and innovate in my own workplace.   When do you meet?  We meet every other month, normally on the first Friday of the month, although this is flexible.  We meet in the city centre at The Quarter café, who have kindly allowed us to use a private space for free.  If anyone is interested in attending, please get in touch with Paul via email