As the nation marks National Apprenticeship Week (Monday 14 until Sunday 20 March), 20-year old Sophie Dyer from Exmouth is settling into life as an optical assistant having recently completed her Specsavers Apprenticeship Scheme.
Specsavers’ one-year apprenticeship is open to anyone over the age of 16 and requires no previous optical experience. Those that complete it become qualified optical assistants with the chance of full time employment at Specsavers. There are currently 241 people enrolled on the UK’s biggest government-accredited scheme.
The programme also provides successful apprentices with further studying opportunities, with the potential to qualify as a dispensing optician within five years. Sophie Dyer says: ‘The Specsavers Apprenticeship Scheme is really well structured and I had a clear sense of direction with my studies throughout. The balance of studies and hands-on experience has given me a greater depth of knowledge.
‘I received lots of support during the apprenticeship with day-to-day training that meant I was developing my skill set all the time and it helped to grow my confidence as an optical assistant. But the best part is that I have now found a career I want to pursue in a company that I want to stay and grow with.’
Store director Ria Heskins says: ‘We believe that apprenticeships are a great way to unlock the potential of young people and provide a way for them to embark on successful and fulfilling careers. ‘Our scheme benefits those who want to work their way up to qualifying as a dispensing optician. It's also a great opportunity to give back to the communities we serve.'