An apprentice at Specsavers in Peterlee is starting an exciting career in optics thanks to an apprenticeship programme.
Sophie Allison has recently embarked on the Specsavers apprenticeship programme and, during National Apprenticeship Week (5 – 9 March), is encouraging others to get involved in the scheme. More than 270 people are currently enrolled on the Specsavers apprenticeship programme.
Sophie started her apprenticeship at the Peterlee store in November 2017 and will finish the course within 12 months, with high potential of a permanent position at Specsavers.
Sophie, says: ‘I have really enjoyed having this opportunity to be part of the Specsavers team throughout my apprenticeship. I feel like I have progressed extremely well with the help of my assessor and colleagues already and it has given me new skills.
‘Not only has my knowledge of optics expanded, but my confidence has also grown. I am incredibly lucky that the team instore have been really supportive.’
Store director Eric Thompson 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.
‘Sophie has been a real asset to the team since she joined last year, it’s really inspiring to see the scheme working so well.’
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.
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.