As the nation marks National Apprenticeship Week (Monday 14 until Sunday 20 March), 20-year old Meghan Smith from Truro 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.

Confident and Capable

The programme also provides successful apprentices with further studying opportunities, with the potential to qualify as a dispensing optician within five years. Meghan Smith says: ‘Joining the Specsavers Apprenticeship Scheme has given me so much confidence. For me, the support that the apprenticeship provides has been invaluable and the experience that I have gained has given me a greater depth of knowledge.

‘I particularly enjoyed being exposed to so many different disciplines within the business – from accounting, to marketing, shop floor customer service and the medical side with the eye tests. Working closely with skilled individuals across the company was so insightful and has really helped me uncover my areas of interest.

‘The Specsavers Apprenticeship Scheme is really well structured and I had a clear sense of direction with my studies throughout. The day-to-day training meant that I was developing and evolving my skills all the time. 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.’

Unlocking Potential

Store director Graham Dunn 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.’

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