The team at Specsavers in Ripley celebrated National Apprenticeship Week (3-9 February) with optical assistant apprentice, Natalie Walton, 19.

Natalie's story
Natalie applied for her apprenticeship at Specsavers on Oxford Street having completed her A levels in English literature, computer science, sociology and business. She was working full time in retail but wanted to find an apprenticeship where she could learn alongside earning.

‘I decided not to go to university,’ she said. ‘After my grandparents died, I wanted to be close to my family and support them, so I looked for opportunities closer to home.

‘I realised, once I got stuck in to the work, that I had my foot in the door of a lifelong career as there is so much opportunity for progression and learning with the business. I’m already thinking about more advanced qualifications that I can go on to do in future.

‘It isn’t only the work and customers that I enjoy though, I’ve found an amazing group of friends at work. We are such a strong team and work really hard to help each other thrive and be happy.’

Natalie added: ‘I’ve found a job I’m really passionate about, I learn new things every day and it makes me love it so much more. I’m looking forward to learning more and progressing in my career.’

A word from the store director
Store director, Kuldip Dosanjh, said: ‘Apprenticeships open up a variety of career routes and our team is supported to reach their potential in their chosen field. We’re very proud of our whole team culture of learning, helping us all to be the best we can for our customers.’

Apprenticeships at Specsavers are open to people of any age and successful applicants earn a salary while learning.

Start of a rewarding career
Louise Powell, head of apprenticeships at Specsavers, said: ‘Specsavers apprenticeship programs are a fantastic way to begin or develop a rewarding and successful career. This is demonstrated by the fact that 94% of our optical assistant apprentices go on to take on a full-time job at Specsavers, 92% say their career prospects have improved and 73% of apprentices who take a role in store then go on to take clinical or management qualifications. Not only that, but our training has been viewed as best in the sector by Ofsted. It is an exciting time to be part of the team. As long as you’re a hard worker, punctual and ambitious you will do well at Specsavers and there are plenty of opportunities to continue with your development.’

National Apprenticeship Week is an annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships across England and is a time to recognise and applaud apprenticeship success stories. To explore apprentice opportunities at Specsavers, visit the Specsavers recruitment web pages or speak to a member of the recruitment team on 01566 771 888.

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