The next generation of property maintenance specialists has refreshed a community allotment in Stoke-on-Trent in the final event of Novus Property Solutions’ 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 saw Novus launch the biggest, most wide-reaching apprentice recruitment drive in its history with a bespoke social media campaign launched 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 Novus’ 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.

Novus, which was named Employer of the Year at the 2015 Construction News Awards, has a 75-year tradition of hiring apprentices and the company’s chairman, Stuart Seddon, and managing director, Neil Hand, both started out as apprentices with the firm.

Neil Hand, managing director of Novus Property Solutions, 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.”

For more information about Novus Property Solutions please visit

You can also follow Novus Property Solutions on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.Novus Apprentice Challenge 2016