To mark National Apprenticeship Week, Specsavers held a graduation ceremony in Birmingham, celebrating 100 employees who had recently completed its optical assistant apprenticeship programme. The ceremony formed part of the opticians and audiologists’ annual Management Seminar at the International Conference Centre, attended by more than 1,000 staff from across the UK and Ireland business.
UK’s biggest government-accredited scheme
Specsavers offers a one-year apprenticeship to anyone over the age of 16 and requires no previous optical experience. Those that complete it become qualified optical assistants with the chance of full time employment.
This year, 180 apprentices are due to graduate and there will be at least 150 new apprenticeship vacancies.
The programme also opens up successful apprentices to further studying opportunities, with the potential to qualify as a dispensing optician within five years and even work towards having their own Specsavers store.
The apprenticeship scheme has been running for just over two years and 90% of graduates take on full-time positions within the company.
Advice from one of our graduates
Adam Fox, apprentice graduate from Specsavers Middlesborough offered some advice for anyone thinking of embarking on the Specsavers apprenticeship scheme. He said: ‘I would advise those considering applying for the apprenticeship to prepare for a challenge.
'It’s a fast paced environment with a lot to learn but Specsavers does provide all the support needed and if you’re willing to dedicate yourself to the program and are prepared to develop your skills, it will be a fulfilling and rewarding career option for anyone who is passionate about customer service and providing excellent eyecare.’
A great start to a career
Paul Marshall, Specsavers’ UK and Ireland managing director, who presented the successful apprentices with their certificates, said: 'I'm really privileged to come here today as apprenticeships have a very special place in my heart. When I left school I didn't know what I wanted to do.
'I started working at Sainsbury baking bread and just loved the experience of meeting and engaging with customers every day. I've worked in retail ever since. Really well done to all of you on your achievements. This is just the beginning of your careers and there are so many opportunities open to you. Next time I shake your hands you might be Specsavers store partners running your own businesses.'
To find out more on the scheme click here