Two apprentices at Specsavers in Wigan are embarking on a rewarding career in eyecare with the opticians’ Optical Apprenticeship programme.

National Apprenticeship Week

As the nation marks National Apprenticeship Week (Monday 14 until Sunday 20 March), 19-year-old Jordan Stafford and 20-year-old Charlotte Tisdale are among more than 240 people currently enrolled on the UK’s biggest government-accredited scheme.

Jordan said: ‘This apprenticeship has been my opportunity to learn more about the optical industry, as well as getting to interact with customers on a daily basis.’

‘The work environment in Specsavers Wigan is one of constant positivity, from customers and staff members alike.  My colleagues in store have been incredibly helpful with any questions I’ve had, and I’m really glad I chose to take part in the programme’.

Charlotte, who has recently had her first assessment in store, said: ‘I’m really enjoying the work that I’m doing with Specsavers, it’s something new and exciting every day.’

‘Once I complete the programme, I’m hoping to continue to work my way up through the company, and I’m looking forward to developing the skills that the staff in Wigan have helped me gain’.

Qualified optical assistants

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.

Specavers Wigan store director Graeme Gardner said: ‘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.

Key team members

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.

The apprenticeships scheme has been running for just over two years and 90% of the apprentices take on full-time positions within the company.

All Wigan store information

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