Apprentice hopefuls revitalise community garden

  09 AUGUST, 2016
Apprentice hopefuls revitalise community garden

The next generation of property maintenance specialists has refreshed a community allotment in Stoke-on-Trent in the final event of our Apprentice Week.

The community garden in the Middleport area of the city, which is run by local charity Root ‘n Fruit, grows food to donate to the elderly, while providing an opportunity for unemployed, disabled and vulnerable individuals to learn new skills and meet new people.

This vital community space has now been refreshed by 18 apprentice hopefuls from around the country who were joined by six Novus volunteers to weed the allotment, create new paths and raised beds and refurbish the garden’s composting toilet during  the one-day Apprentice Challenge. The apprentices all worked hard to impress the directors in order to earn a coveted apprenticeship with the 115-year-old company.

This year we launched the biggest, most wide-reaching apprentice recruitment drive in our history with a bespoke social media campaign created to source the most talented, motivated individuals seeking their first role in the construction industry.

A total of 215 applications were received and these were then whittled down to 18 who were all invited to take part in a week of training and activities at our headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent, culminating with the Apprentice Challenge.

This year's Apprentice Week candidates came from all over the UK, with specialisms in carpentry, joinery, and painting and decorating amongst others, and Novus will offer all successful candidates full-time apprenticeships in a range of trades at offices across the country.

As a company we have a 75-year tradition of hiring apprentices and our chairman, Stuart Seddon, and managing director, Neil Hand, both started out as apprentices with us.

Neil Hand said: “This has been a landmark year for our apprentice recruitment scheme, with a concerted social media campaign helping us to reach new audiences and spread the word far and wide.

"The upshot of that has been one of the most talented groups of people we have ever had taking part in Apprentice Week, and our team has been delighted by the standard of work that has been done.

"As a company, we are committed to nurturing talent and recruiting apprentices, as well as giving back to our local community – the work at Mott Place Allotments is part of our ongoing efforts to do that."

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Novus partners with Fortior Homes on £14m contract

NOVUS PARTNERS WITH FORTIOR HOMES ON £14M CONTRACT

We have been chosen to deliver a major housing project in Stoke-on-Trent in a deal worth around £14million.   Our Stoke-on-Trent team will be building 85 apartments and 43 houses in partnership with Fortior Homes, the housing company owned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, on Lichfield Street, Hanley.   Work on the site will begin in December with completion set for September 2020. The development will consist of a range of two and three-bedroom houses and one and two-bedroom apartments.   Novus were appointed to the contract following a competitive tendering process.   Dean Povey, Operations Manager at Novus, said: “As a national contractor that calls Stoke its home, we can’t wait to get started on this exciting project.   “The development will provide quality homes for private rent and market sale [DA(1] for the city’s people a stone’s throw from Stoke-on-Trent’s shopping, nightlife and business centre.   “As the first project we’ve worked on with Fortior Homes we’re looking forward to building a lasting relationship.”   Councillor Randy Conteh, the city council’s cabinet member for housing, communities and safer city, said: “We are committed to providing quality housing for our residents at all stages of life – and to ensuring that different types of accommodation are available to meet everyone’s needs. By providing new-build homes in this location we will be making sure we don’t lose people to other areas who want to live in this kind of accommodation, but are struggling to find somewhere suitable.   “There has been a significant amount of investment in the city centre and the infrastructure to support businesses. This is a way of continuing that support by providing the homes for those attracted to the city by the new business environment in a spot readily accessible from the centre.   “It is also fantastic news that a local company, Novus, has successfully won the contract for this development. Helping local businesses to grow means more jobs and opportunities for local people. It raises people’s quality of life, and it supports our economy.”   Councillor Ann James, leader of the city council and a board member of Fortior Homes, said: “The development of this site will allow us to deliver on our objective for significant investment in new housing.   “We aim to provide high quality homes within Stoke-on-Trent, and the Lichfield Street site presents an exciting opportunity for the delivery of a new and aspirational private rental and market sale offer in a key location.”  [DA(1]Are you ok with us adding this to Dean’s comment? We’d like to include it in our PR too.