Three apprentices from Bodmin are now embarking on a rewarding career in eyecare with the opticians’ Optical Apprenticeship programme, the biggest government-accredited scheme in the UK.

As the nation marked National Apprenticeship Week, optical apprentices from Specsavers in Bodmin Rebekah Coleman (17), Grace Denford (19) and Jess Davis (17) were graduating with 100 apprentices at a ceremony in Birmingham.

Opportunities for all

The three ambitious teens joined Specsavers’ one-year apprenticeship, which is open to anyone over the age of 16 and requires no previous optical experience. Everyone who completes it becomes qualified optical assistants with the chance of full time employment at Specsavers.

Graduate apprentice, Jess Davies 17, says: ‘Doing my apprenticeship with Specsavers has helped me open my knowledge about optics. My favourite part was learning on the job. Doing all the stuff online has helped with my functional skills and I can put my knowledge in to practise whilst getting paid. My apprenticeship has also helped with my future career and opened a lot of career opportunities.’

Supporting young talent

Jo McLean, Specsavers Bodmin store director, says: ‘Supporting and nurturing young talent in our local community is so important, particularly in the South West where we want to encourage young talent to stay in the South West.

‘Jess, Rebekah and Grace worked hard and showed great promise. I look forward to seeing their careers progress and maybe one day they will be running their own Specsavers store.’

Future job opportunities

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

At least 33% of apprentices who take on a full-time position go on to further studies with Specsavers, with many training to become dispensing assistants through Specsavers’ externally-accredited Level 3 and Level 4 Certificates in Optical Dispensing. These is turn offer stepping-stones to further study to eventual qualify as a dispensing optician.

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