Specsavers in Hartlepool’s store manager has been promoted to the position of store director after completing the company’s director course.

Steven Wheatley has risen through the ranks after joining the store as a sales assistant at just 19 years old. After an impressive first two years with the company, Steven was encouraged to join the qualified dispensing optician training programme. Following three years of full-time studying while working, he passed the course in 2009.

The 33-year-old was promoted to store manager after impressing internal and external management teams and was even sent to other stores to assist and help them to develop.

In 2012 Steven was given the opportunity to join the Specsavers director programme, which he passed this year.

A word from Steven

Steven Wheatley said: ‘I saw an opportunity for career progression when I first applied to Specsavers as a teenager and I am so grateful to the company for the opportunities I’ve had. Both courses have been completed while still working full-time in the store so the management team here have always supported me and given me moral support when I needed it. There were difficult points and challenges but the team helped me to focus and offered assistance when I was struggling.

The training opportunities available at Specsavers are amazing and I would urge youngsters to take advantage of them when they can. I would like to thank all of the staff here in Hartlepool for their continued support and I am looking forward to my new role as director in the store where my journey began.’

A word from his fellow store director

Ian Walker, also a director at the Hartlepool store, said: ‘Steven has always been determined to progress within the company since he joined. It is extremely encouraging to see such a young man commit to his studies the way Steven has and we are all extremely proud of him for completing this latest qualification. This is an exciting time for the store and I hope other members of the team have been inspired by Steven’s story to take advantage of the wonderful career opportunities here at Specsavers.’

All Hartlepool store information