School leavers with their eyes on the future have a gateway into the optical industry with apprenticeships now available at Specsavers.

Specsavers in Kingston upon Thames is currently recruiting to fill a place on its one-year optical apprenticeship scheme. It is open to suitable applicants over the age of 16 and requires no previous optical experience.

Those that complete their apprenticeship become qualified optical assistants with the chance of fulltime employment at the store.

A word from the store director

Guy Loveday, store director at Specsavers in Kingston, said: ‘We believe that apprenticeships are a great way to unlock the potential of young people. Our scheme is an excellent opportunity for young learners to enter the world of work in a safe and structured way. It also provides them with a real job, great training and qualifications.

‘Rather than having to pay tuition fees, our apprentices earn a wage and receive additional benefits including paid holiday.’

Apprentices will primarily learn on the job, working in-store alongside eyecare professionals.

Guy added: ‘They become a key member of the store team, welcoming customers, giving them advice, booking in eye tests, carrying out pre-screening and dispensing of spectacles and helping the store to run as smoothly as possible.’

More about the apprenticeship

Alongside this they complete the Level 2 Diploma in Optical Retail, which includes six weekly assessor visits, observations and online learning and courses. The programme also opens up successful apprentices to further studying opportunities, with the potential to qualify as a dispensing optician within five years.

There are currently 200 people enrolled on the apprenticeship scheme throughout Specsavers stores in England and Wales, with a further 100 anticipated to start over the next few months.

A word from Specsavers' development manager

Specsavers Senior People Development Manager Guy Kidd said: ‘We launched this scheme in 2013 and it is now one of the largest government-accredited apprenticeship schemes. Our apprentices get to work in a store that is local to them while enjoying all the benefits and support of the broader Specsavers group, which is world renowned for its training and development.

‘We are delighted to see many of our graduate apprentices take up permanent jobs with us as fully-fledged optical assistants.’

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