Apprentice opticians in Retford and Worksop are starting an exciting career in optics thanks to a new training programme.
Both Louis Abbot from Retford and Erin van de Vliet recently graduated from the Specsavers apprenticeship programme are encouraging others to get involved in the scheme.
More than 270 people are currently enrolled on the Specsavers apprenticeship programme.
Originally from Worksop, Louis left college in July 2016 and felt unsure about what he wanted to do.
Keen to remain in further education but with an appetite to earn a living, he decided to embark on an apprenticeship programme and joined Specsavers in Retford in December 2016, enrolling on to the company’s apprenticeship programme in January last year.
The programme is 12 months long and in that time, an apprentice is guided through the world of optics, the industry and what career opportunities are available at Specsavers.
Louis, who studied chemistry, biology and psychology at college said: “There are so many roles to consider in optics and with different progression pathways, I’m really keen to progress as far as I can.
“I want to broaden my horizons at Specsavers and aim high.
“I’d eventually like to become a dispensing optician.
“Since leaving college and joining Specsavers, I’ve had so much support while undertaking on the job training.
“Apprentices are overseen by an assessor to make sure that they are confidently guided through the programme.
“And in addition to that, there is the in store trainer as well as senior management.
“There’s been a mixture of practical assessments and course work, so the balance has been just right.
“I’ve done exactly what I wanted to do – find a career that’s right for me, continue in education and earn a salary.’
Following his completion of the course, Louis was given a permanent contract at Specsavers.
Erin, who trained at the Worksop store, first began studying for a career in childcare before joining the Specsavers team.
“She said: “I found the Specsavers apprenticeship programme very good, and the team at Worksop made me feel welcome, training and supporting through my course.
“I realised how many benefits there were to a career with Specsavers, as there are so many career paths which I could now take, which I find very exciting.
“Now that I’ve graduated, I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
Specsavers in Worksop also has three further apprentices in training in Chay Spence, Nicola Jackson and Millie Anscombe.