The Allerton Road has plenty to celebrate as staff members have significantly boosted their professional skills over the last few months.
Rebecca Hodson and Steff Fearns who both work at the store qualified as a dispensing optician and audiologist respectively, both graduating from the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge recently. Steff and Rebecca have spent the last five years working at Specsavers in Allerton, training on the job to secure their dream careers in helping the visually impaired and those with hearing loss.
The recent course commitments meant travelling to Cambridge quarter-yearly to attend lectures while also working at the Allerton Road store. Rebecca was also store manager while undertaking her studies, which made the last few months very challenging at times.
On job training and supporting directors made a huge difference
Rebecca says: ‘I’m delighted to now be a dispensing optician and want to especially thank the support and encouragement I’ve received from the store – it was a real balancing act for me, but so rewarding to get to the end. Without the support of the team, especially Zoe and Andrew, it would not have been possible’ Steff says: I am so proud to now be a fully qualified audiologist and be able to spend my career helping people with hearing loss.
I’m really grateful to have worked in an environment where on-the-job training is commonplace.’
Steff and Rebecca join a number of other staff members who are currently enhancing their professional skills at the Allerton Road store. Maria Kinkaid, who started at the store as a summer student in 2016, completed training to become an optometrist in 2017 and qualified this summer.
She did this under the supervision of ophthalmic store director Andrew Preston who provided full support for her development. And Mahmuda Islam recently passed her optical apprenticeship with flying colours and is now planning on taking up further training to become an optometrist, again under guidance from the store’s directors.
Many other team members boosting skills
Also boosting skills at the store is assistant manager Jennifer Gregory who recently began a new management apprenticeship and Charlotte Geraghty who is also currently training to become a contact lens optician.
In fact, nearly every member of staff at the Allerton Road store is undertaking on-the-job training to enhance their careers – this also ensures the store is offering the best possible professional care to local people.
As a credit to its ongoing efforts in staff development and training, the store was one of the first in Liverpool to secure Platinum Employer status in 2015 and has proudly continued to maintain this standard ever since.
Proud of the team
Store director Zoe Morris says: ‘Andrew and I employ a number of people with fantastic potential from the local community.
We have always been very committed to developing each staff member to their full potential and actively encourage and support them to progress in their careers.
It is very much a supportive and knowledge-filled environment here and our staff really are a credit to us – the excellent service we are able to provide to our customers every day is all down to their effort and commitment to the job.’
Specsavers offers a number of apprenticeships and training programmes to staff working at its stores and regularly rewards key achievements.