An apprentice from Sutton Coldfield Specsavers has set her sights on a rewarding career in eyecare after completing the UK’s largest government-accredited apprenticeship programme.

Emily Coles recently graduated from the Specsavers Optical Apprenticeship programme and is now staying with the store in her role as an optical assistant. 

Career opportunity

‘I didn’t know what to expect at first, but having the support of the team throughout the year was really useful,’ said Emily. ‘An apprenticeship in optics probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when you leave school but I’ve loved it and now I’ve completed the programme I have a full-time job in store which is fantastic!’

Specsavers’ one-year apprenticeship is open to anyone over the age of 16 and requires no previous optical experience. Those who complete it become qualified optical assistants and 90% of apprentices take on full-time positions within the company.

Unlocking potential

Tim Goodhew, store director, said: ‘Apprenticeships are a great way to unlock the potential of young people and support them as they embark on successful and fulfilling careers. We’ve been really impressed with Emily’s progress over the course of her apprenticeship and are pleased that she’ll be continuing to work in store as an optical assistant.’

The Specsavers Optical Apprenticeship programme has more than 240 people enrolled on it. It includes the completion of the Level 2 Diploma in Optics, monthly assessor visits, observations, online learning and courses. Apprentices also learn on the job, working in-store alongside eyecare professionals. 

During their apprenticeship, they become a key member of the store team, welcoming customers, giving them advice, booking in sight tests, carrying out pre-screening and helping the store to run as smoothly as possible.

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