Specsavers in Penrith is celebrating an apprentice who is starting an exciting career in the store thanks to their apprenticeship programme.

Fern Skelton has recently graduated from the Specsavers apprenticeship programme and is encouraging others to get involved in the scheme. More than 270 people are currently enrolled on the Specsavers apprenticeship programme.

An industry that helps people

Fern, aged 18, began her apprenticeship in 2016 and was inspired by her desire to work in an industry that helped people. During the two year scheme, she became an active member of the team; fitting and adjusting glasses, pre-screening patients ahead of appointments, and helping customers choose the best glasses for them.

Fern says ‘I decided to do an apprenticeship with Specsavers because they have such a great reputation and they offer so many ways to progress and broaden your skills. I’m so happy to finally be a full time member of staff at Penrith, and I can honestly say I love my job!

‘My favourite thing about the Specsavers apprenticeship is that it taught me how to be confident and proud of my achievements. I was always quite anxious at school, but the apprenticeship has really brought me out of my shell.’

Unlocking potential

Store retail director Peter Walker says: ‘Apprenticeships are a great way to unlock the potential of young people or those looking for a career change and provide a way for them to embark on successful and fulfilling careers.

‘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.’

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.

Learn on the job

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 apprenticeships 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 visit jobs.specsavers.co.uk

All Penrith store information