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Novus Apprentices Embrace Community Challenge /

Novus Apprentices Embrace Community Challenge
Twenty two young people, 180 combined working hours, one site and a tonne of community spirit – our recent Apprentice Challenge, in conjunction with The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, was a roaring success.
Youngsters hoping to win a place as on our apprenticeship scheme completed a major makeover of the walkway, streets and canal area adjacent to Middleport Pottery in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, as part of our work in the community and search for new recruits.
The youngsters removed graffiti, installed planters and removed rubbish and overgrown plants on a busy walkway, known as Pidduck Street. They also repainted a bridge which runs from the walkway to join both sides of the Trent and Mersey canal during their one-day challenge.
The area is now vastly improved and members of the local community, pedestrians and visitors have assurance they can pass through the area and be greeted by safer and friendlier scenery.
The Middleport Pottery site is currently undergoing an £8 million transformation by The Prince’s Regeneration Trust. The charity, which has HRH The Prince of Wales as its President, supports and strengthens communities by rescuing and reusing important British buildings at risk of being lost forever through demolition or decay. The priority is to work in areas that will benefit most from the regeneration and economic growth delivered.
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The Prince's Regeneration Trust, said: "We wholeheartedly support local apprenticeship schemes; on our own and working together with the other Prince's Charities we have apprenticeship programmes running on many of our projects, including Middleport Pottery.
"We know that a trained craft or skill creates significantly more opportunities for work and brings benefits to the local economy. It very often has the desirable result of keeping a particular skill in existence by training a whole new generation in a craft that is special or unique to that community," explained Ros.
We were inundated with applications for this year’s apprentice scheme, with nearly 10 young people applying for each place. More than 200 applicants put themselves forward for just 19 places on the scheme, and this number was then whittled down to 22 youngsters, aged between 16 and 20, who took part in an apprentice selection week.
Chairman Stuart Seddon, said: “At Novus, we are proud to support the communities within which we work and working with The Prince’s Regeneration Trust at Middleport Pottery has been an opportunity for us to really help this British heritage project take steps towards completion.
“The apprentices embraced their challenge - all of them were excellent, utilised their skills and have done a fantastic job. The day gives the young people an opportunity to see what working life is like, and also gives us a chance to see how they react to situations outside of school – they get to work with other people, and carry out various tasks to show off their talents. The standard of apprentice this year has been incredibly good and here at Novus we find this very encouraging.”
To view a video of the day click here
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