Vikki Cooper: coming full circle

  01 MAY, 2018      COMPANY UPDATES
Vikki Cooper: coming full circle

Vikki joined Novus in 2005 as an apprentice painter and decorator. Since completing her three-year apprenticeship and taking on the role full-time, she has steadily progressed to the position of site supervisor, now working out of our Birmingham office. In this blog, she explains why she decided to join our national network of Skills Champions as part of our new Skills 4 Life initiative. 
 
My first day as an apprentice was almost 12 years ago but I can still remember how I felt at the very beginning of my career with Novus.
 
So it was like coming full circle being asked to help during this year’s apprentice day. Watching the new intake of 26 fresh-faced apprentices get stuck into the challenge and work together brought memories flooding back for me. Find out more about this year’s challenge at the Macari Centre in Stoke-on-Trent here.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed mentoring the apprentices on the day, helping them with practical skills and answering their questions. I’m proud to be part of a company that actively supports and nurtures its staff throughout their careers. I’ve benefitted from Novus’ continual investment in my own training and career development over the last 12 years, and to be honest, this was one of the reasons why I put myself forward to be a Skills Champion - so that I can give something back and hopefully inspire others.
 
The Skills 4 Life initiative is all about passing on practical skills and giving people the confidence to try something new. Through the initiative we’re working closely with some of our social housing clients to equip residents with new skills and improve their job prospects at the same time. I’m the Skills Champion for the Bristol area which means that I’ll be on hand to help mentor small groups during any regional events in the future.
 
One of the first Skills 4 Life events I’ve been involved with was at the Macari Centre homeless shelter. We worked with a small group of residents to help them repaint one of the centre’s communal areas using their new-found skills. Seeing their reaction once the room had been transformed was really rewarding and I can’t wait to get involved in more events to come.
 
The Skills 4 Life initiative embodies Novus’ values. Working in the ‘Novus Way’, that is, by working together as a team, always looking to the future and nurturing relationships with colleagues and clients, is every bit as important as getting the job done right.
 
I love my job. Every day is different and I really enjoy getting out and meeting new people and seeing a job well done. I can honestly say I’ve given it my all and with Novus’ support I’ve come so far and I’ve got my sights set on further progression in the future.
 
To find out more about working with Novus take a look at our dedicated recruitment site

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Dani Robert Wrights tells us why she joined Novus when she was looking for progression… I had previously worked for a larger corporate business, where I felt like a number. My line manager manged so many people you wouldn’t have been surprised if they didn’t recognise you when they saw you. At the end of my time at my previous employment I did some training towards becoming a site supervisor however when I left I didn’t have the experience to go for this role straight away. I came to Novus looking for progression in February 2017. I wanted a business to invest time and effort into me. I’m not a job hopper so wanted to make sure this move was the right one. As soon as I met the team I knew things would be different at Novus. Since joining Novus I’ve developed much faster than I expected to. Joining Novus as a Contract Liaison Officer (CLO) I joined Novus as a Contract Liaison Officer (CLO) where my role was to keep communications flowing between site teams, clients and office colleagues. A big part of the role was customer communication – lettering procedures, satisfaction surveys, pre-entry information, and engagement sessions to ensure that all of our customers were kept informed throughout the work. Refurbishment and Decoration Work The majority of my work was with residents of housing associations, councils and care homes where we were carrying out cyclical decoration or kitchen and bathroom refurbs.  My role meant I came into contact with lots of different people and no two days were ever the same – I could spend days in the office or equally I could have been visiting three different sites in a day.  I liked the variety the job gave me, and it definitely kept me busy! Social Value Projects Part of Contract Liaison Officer role was to head up social value projects.  I’ve organised a wide variety of events from refurbishing community spaces, to teaching people with learning difficulties painting skills whilst decorating an internal space for them to making donations.   In my new role as Site Supervisor I have had the exciting challenge of supervising the Big 5 Project in Birmingham but from a different perspective. Now I am responsible for co-ordinating the works, making sure we stick to programme and stay within the budget, as well as ensuring my colleagues health and safety remains at the forefront of everything we do. The Novus Difference What makes Novus different is the close working relationships.  The directors visit and they know you by name, which makes you feel like a valued part of the team. I also have a strong support network of colleagues around me.  There’s always someone you can direct questions to. It’s no surprise to me that when people come, they stay. If you are looking for a company where you can progress, like Dani was, why not look through our current vacancies.