As the nation marks National Apprenticeship Week (Monday 14 until Sunday 20 March), 19-year old Jasmin Baldwin from Thetford is among 240 people currently enrolled on the UK’s biggest government-accredited scheme.
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 with the chance of full time employment at Specsavers. The programme also opens up successful apprentices to further studying opportunities, with the potential to qualify as a dispensing optician within five years.
Jasmin Baldwin says: ‘The apprenticeship has been an amazing experience so far and has helped me think about where I would like to go career-wise. I have been with the store for over three months now so I still have a lot to look forward to. I would recommend it to everyone – it has been such a great opportunity for me.’
Specsavers Thetford store director Marc Mitchell says: ‘We believe that apprenticeships are a great way to unlock the potential of young people and provide a way for them to embark on successful and fulfilling careers.'
‘Our scheme benefits those who want to work their way up to qualifying as a dispensing optician. It's also a great opportunity to giveback to the communities we serve.' The programme 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.