As the nation marks National Apprenticeship Week (Monday 14 until Sunday 20 March), 19 year old Tomas Schroeder from Shinfield is among 241 people currently enrolled on the UK’s biggest government-accredited 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. The programme also opens up successful apprentices to further studying opportunities, with the potential to qualify as a dispensing optician within five years.
Specsavers Reading’s apprentice, Tomas says: ‘An apprenticeship gives you a complete 360 overview of a business. With Specsavers, I am learning every day and the variation makes it challenging yet very rewarding. Personally, I really enjoy seeing customers’ lives transformed with corrective eyewear – it gives me a great sense of job satisfaction.
‘When I was a school, I really enjoyed my science subjects so the optical side of the business has really engaged me, learning about the latest innovations launching within the optical industry.
‘The training I have received here at Specsavers Reading has been very hands on and the team is really friendly and helpful. It really does make for a pleasure experience and I love going to work each day! They have helped me complete my dispensing modules and I now have my sights set on becoming a Dispensing Optician. The long-term goal is to hopefully progress to become an Optometrist.
‘For any school leavers considering an apprenticeship, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is a great way to learn and train, knowing that you are working towards full time employment and a rewarding career.’
Specsavers Reading store director, Don Watts 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.
Community ‘Our scheme benefits those who want to work their way up to qualifying as a dispensing optician. It's also a great opportunity to giveback to the communities we serve.' The programme includes the completion of the Level 2 Diploma in Optics, monthly assessor visits, observations, online learning and courses. Apprentices also learn on the job, working in-store alongside eyecare professionals.