An apprentice at Specsavers in Thurrock-Lakeside is starting an exciting career in optics thanks to an apprenticeship programme.

Ibrahim “Ibz” Elmi graduated from the Specsavers apprenticeship programme and, during National Apprenticeship Week (Monday 5 – 9 March), is encouraging others to get involved in the scheme.

More than 270 people are currently enrolled on the Specsavers apprenticeship programme.

Ibz worked in retail after school in various electrical stores but was looking for a vocational career path that would open doors and opportunities, when he saw the apprenticeship scheme advertised on the Specsavers website.

A great opportunity

Ibz said: ‘Working in optics is a great opportunity for me to learn new clinical knowledge, while still using the retail skills I gained during previous jobs. Before I started this course I was quite shy but now I feel like a different person and love interacting with people and helping people see. It’s fantastic to be part of the local community.’

Jay Visrolia, retail director at Specsavers in Thurrock-Lakeside, said: ‘Apprenticeships are a great way to unlock the potential of young people or for those looking for a career change, and provide a way for them to embark on successful and fulfilling careers. Ibz is a really valuable member of our team and, since graduating, has begun his certification to becoming a fully qualified dispensing optician and a really promising future.

‘The Specsavers scheme offers learners an excellent opportunity to enter the world of work in a safe and structured way, providing them with a real job, great training and qualifications.’

A valued member of the team

Specsavers’ one-year apprenticeship is open to anyone over the age of 16 and requires no previous optical experience. Apprentices can choose to work as an optical assistant or take on roles in customer service or retail. Specsavers is also trialling an optical technician apprenticeship for those interested in working in a lab.

Those that complete the apprenticeship will become fully qualified in those roles with the chance of full-time employment at Specsavers.

Each course will include monthly assessor visits, observations, online learning and courses. Apprentices also learn on the job, working in-store alongside qualified professionals and becoming part of the team.

The apprenticeship scheme has been running for just over three years and 90% of the apprentices take on permanent positions within the company, with 85% undertaking further training.

To search for current apprenticeship vacancies at Specsavers please click here

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