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Behind the scenes at Novus apprentice selection week

16th Aug 2013
Behind the scenes at Novus apprentice selection week
Twenty two would-be Novus apprentices from across the UK made their way to Keele University on August 5th to spend a week with our directors and recruiters. As part of the week, they all got stuck into a makeover day, transforming Middleport Pottery in Burslem. Here, Training Manager Jackie Budden takes us behind the scenes of apprentice selection week.
The aim of our week-long selection trial was to find young people who are serious about building up their skills in a trade they enjoy. We wanted to give the right people an opportunity to gain qualifications as a Novus Property Solutions apprentice. Those who are keen, eager and willing to work were in with a good chance of being chosen – but it was by no means an easy process.
We selected our 22 shortlisted would-be apprentices after sifting through hundreds of applications. Each candidate had completed two weeks of work experience with Novus before the selection week began. This gave them some grounding and background in the company and industry and helped everyone - the apprentices could decide whether the work is really for them, and we got idea of what the candidates were like and whether we thought they could go the whole way.
After arriving at Keele University campus from as far afield as Dorset and Bathgate in Scotland, our potential apprentices were put through their paces with various challenges so we could see how suitable they would be for our three-year programme.

We taught the applicants about core aspects of health and safety, including asbestos awareness, manual handling and ladder safety. They also got Construction Skills Certification Scheme training, so we gave them the knowledge they needed to work on site during the apprentice week, and for the future.
On one of the days, we organised for the group to take part in a community project with the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, to give them a real feel of what it would be like to work with us. The apprentices all went to Middleport Pottery in Stoke where they tidied up a neglected walkway, replaced fences, re-painted and improved what was quite a run-down area. The day was really successful. We do something like this every year and it really shows how Novus helps out in the community and is a great example of the kind of work we do.

To watch the video of the day, click here
All week, the candidates were chaperoned by the training department team, who watched out for team work skills, use of initiative and for who adhered to health and safety guidelines. They also looked for good aptitude, attitude and time keeping skills.
Each candidate was interviewed by senior management during the week, so they had a chance to impress directors and managing directors who had once been in the apprentice’s shoes. Those directors knew what they’re looking for as they themselves have worked up from the selection process to where they are today, so this will have been a tough grilling for the candidates!
The successful candidates all began work with us on the Monday of the following week. Hopefully all of the apprentices will work hard, develop their skills and experience and have long careers at Novus!

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