An apprentice at Specsavers in Wantage is enjoying a rewarding career in eyecare with an apprenticeship programme.
Eighteen-year-old Joanna Horwood celebrated graduating from the Specsavers Optical Apprenticeship programme on 8 March.
She joined the apprenticeship scheme after completing her A levels and deciding that sixth form wasn’t for her. Keen to still learn, but wanting the challenge of a work environment, the apprenticeship programme really appealed. She’s now taken on a full-time position to further her studies with Specsavers.
‘I love the variety and scope for development that the Specsavers apprenticeship programme offers,’ said Joanna. ‘I enjoyed being able to apply my learning directly and with the support of the rest of the team found it easy to balance my studies and work. I’m now looking forward to continuing my career development with the store.’
Specsavers Optical Apprenticeship programme
Specsavers’ one-year apprenticeship is open 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 at Specsavers.
The programme also opens up further studying opportunities to successful apprentices, with the potential to qualify as a dispensing optician within five years.
Wantage store director, Nicky Rutter comments
‘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 give back 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.
They become a key member of the store team, welcoming customers, giving them advice, booking in eye tests, carrying out pre-screening and helping the store to run as smoothly as possible.
The apprenticeships scheme has been running for just over two years and 90% of the apprentices take on full-time positions within the company. More than 240 people are enrolled on the scheme, which is the UK’s biggest government-accredited programme.