A group of enthusiastic new apprentices from Novus Property Solutions have helped revitalise a homeless shelter in Stoke-on-Trent as part of the company’s annual Apprentice Week.


The Macari Centre, which is just five minutes away from the national property maintenance, refurbishment and new build contractor’s head office, was founded by football legend Lou Macari last year as a place of safety for those forced to sleep on the streets. As well as food and a bed for the night, the centre’s dedicated team works closely with local agencies to provide support and help the centre users to change their lives for the better.


The Macari Centre provided the perfect place to host this year’s Apprentice Challenge, which forms a key part of Novus’ annual apprenticeship recruitment process. During the day-long challenge, a team of 26 apprentice hopefuls were joined by a team of willing Novus volunteers to refresh the centre’s tired interior. The apprentices repainted two of the centre’s dorm rooms, a corridor and communal room as well as tidying up the exterior including the walkway which leads up to the centre. They also carried out minor repairs and constructed a new purpose-built smoking shelter.


The 26 young apprentices were selected out of more than 1,500 applicants from Novus’ hugely successful UK-wide recruitment campaign earlier this year. With 53 applications for every single position available at the firm, competition for a place was fierce. The best candidates were invited to Novus’ head office to take part in its Apprentice Week of training and special activities which culminated with the Apprentice Challenge at the Macari Centre.


The senior management team and directors kept a close eye on the latest cohort of apprentices throughout the day and the successful candidates will begin working with Novus at locations across the country as early as September.


Novus is a passionate advocate for apprenticeships, having supported apprentices for more than seven decades. Earlier this year, painting and decorating apprentice Daniel Holdcroft from Stoke-on-Trent, was named Apprentice of the Year at the Construction News Specialists Awards where the judges also praised the high level of care and support Novus offers its apprentices.


Neil Washington, director from Novus Property Solutions commented: “The Apprentice Challenge is an invaluable part of our apprentice recruitment process. It not only gives the apprentices a taste for our day-to-day work and a chance to learn some vital practical skills, we can also see how well they work together as a team and how they embrace our values.


“By getting involved in a project which is designed to help give something back to the local community, we hope our apprentices will be able to appreciate how important work like this is to us.


“As a company, we are committed to nurturing talent and providing staff with opportunities to grow and develop in order to reach their full potential. This has been an exceptional year for applications and I wish all our new apprentices every success for their future careers with Novus.”


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