Apprentices Tom Bennett and Heidi-Marie Knight have their eye on a fulfilling career in the optical industry – and they are urging other young people to follow their lead as apprentices. This month has seen National Apprenticeship Week, with a wide range of Exeter organisations announcing opportunities for local young people.

Tom and Heidi-Marie started their apprenticeships last autumn, and they have enjoyed working with many local patients to help them with their sight issues.

A word from the apprentices

Heidi said: ‘Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to find a profession that suits them. The Specsavers apprentice scheme is great – it really tests you to the fullest. ‘My job is enjoyable because I get to experience all the customer interactions. There is a lot of variety within the store, and I'm always doing and learning something different.’

Tom added: ‘I enjoy working with all the patients because they have so many different needs. Patients will come in to store and ask me questions, and I need to know the answers to best help them.’

Local talent

Jenny Hart, the Exeter store manager, said: ‘We have had huge success with Tom and Heidi-Marie in their apprenticeships. They really have highlighted to us the importance of developing young local people. We are advocates of ‘growing our own’ and the apprenticeship scheme is the first step in developing individuals and securing their future within the optical profession. Tom and Heidi-Marie have integrated themselves within the team wonderfully. Their patient care is great, and they are really developing key skills that will help with their career aspirations.'

For more information on Specsavers apprenticeship opportunities visit:

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