Specsavers Hounslow in the High Street is proud of their track record of providing training and career progression for all staff members. Notably, during National Apprenticeship Week (3rd – 9th February) one member of staff, Kofi Asafu-Adjaye is a great ambassador for the store’s apprenticeship scheme.
Kofi applied for an apprenticeship that was advertised on the national apprenticeship website in May 2015. He was delighted to be offered an opportunity at the store and started the scheme as a customer service assistant carrying out repairs, dispensing and liaising with customers for the collection of their glasses.
It was during the first year of the apprenticeship that Kofi began to take an interest in the Lab team and the service they provided to customers. Kofi says: ‘I am a very hands-on type of person. I really enjoy the practical side of things in Specsavers and because of this, I constantly found myself becoming more attracted to the work done in the lab.’
Kofi completed the apprenticeship course after 12 months in order to develop into a lab technician. During this training period, he attended in-house Specsavers training courses such as an introduction to antiglare ‘super clean’ lenses, where he learned how to correctly cut and fit the lenses so that customers could see clearly with their glasses. Several online courses were also completed as part of the overall training programme.
Being part of the team for the last 4 years, Kofi said: ‘Working in the lab is very fast-paced and is perfect for someone who likes to be kept on their toes! It has been a great experience, you don’t realise how fast time goes by when you’re working here! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every second.’
Specsavers Hounslow ophthalmic director, Ranna Rai, said: ‘Kofi is a real asset to the lab team and the store. The work that the Lab team do behind the scenes to prepare patients glasses and lenses to the precise tolerances for their eyewear, is a service that patients may not be aware of. We are proud to be able to provide this service on-site, so that our patients will have the use of their glasses more quickly.’ Mr Rai continues: ‘As a store, we are proud to support national apprenticeship week and to be able to offer school leavers a career opportunity with Specsavers.’
Louise Powell, head of apprenticeships at Specsavers, says: ‘Specsavers apprenticeship programmes 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.’
For anyone interested in applying for a Specsavers apprenticeship there is a selection of roles available across the country in optometry, audiology, laboratory technician, customer service practitioners and office support staff. Most of the apprenticeships last up to 13 months depending on the qualification. Applicants must have a minimum of a grade D in English and Maths to be considered. To find out more about the apprenticeship scheme and the 400 available, please visit the Specsavers website.