What a year it’s been for Careers in Eyecare working with Youth Employment UK. Having started our journey at the start of 2020, we’ve managed to achieve a lot to help young people and old to understand the great career options in the world of eyecare and eyewear, winning Youth Employment UK’s Best Newcomer award for 2020 along the way.
Careers in Eyecare is a campaign initiated by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians, but right from the start the Association has seen the importance of working collaboratively across the professions and with industry too. We have so far brought on board three key employers from our sector to support Careers in Eyecare:
- Specsavers– the UK’s largest optical employer and a household name.
- Stepper eyewear – a global frame designer and manufacturer of esteem and expertise.
- Woodspeen Training – with over 30 years’ experience, Woodspeen Training is a well-established provider of Level 2 – Level 5 apprenticeship and skills programmes.
In addition, Careers in Eyecare has increased the number of roles and profiles on the webpage with some great ‘a day in the life of…’ articles to really bring the many potential roles to life for young people considering their future career options.
We have also added a range of other articles, packed with support and advice for young people. Some of these are related to health and eyecare:
- A day in the life of an optometry student
- Would you like to work in a hospital?
- What is a frame rep and what does a typical day look like?
- Top 5 reasons to love a career in eye care
- Apprenticeships in eyecare with ABDO
Other articles draw on the wider expertise of the Careers in Eyecare team and reflect the enormous range of skills that you can develop working in eyecare, with articles that provide support to every young person entering the world of work:
- 5 tips for all school leavers entering the world of work
- How to Get a job in retail
- 12 dos and don’ts of job applications
- Got a job interview coming up? Prepare in advance
- Not got the grades for Uni on results day? These tips will help
All of this great content along with an active social media campaign has led to phenomenal growth in visitors to the Careers in Eyecare YEUK webpage. In quarter 2 of 2020 we had just under 1,300 visitors to our page. In quarter 2 of 2021 this has risen to an amazing 24,500 visitors. Itwould be a fair assumption that the vast majority wouldn’t have known about eyecare and eyewear career options before their visits, so we are definitely getting the message out there successfully to students, teachers, careers advisors etc.
Away from the website activities, Careers in Eyecare has also launched a STEM lesson plan for secondary schools utilising the YEUK page and profiles. This has run very successfully, and students were amazed at the number and scope of the roles available. It helps to sow a seed for the future when they are thinking about sixth form options or University.
The final ‘extra’ is all about work experience. Many employers don’t offer work experience placement as they have no experience or guidance. Careers in Eyecare has produced and launched a guide for employers which helps them to understand and consider the reasons for offering work placements in future. This has been backed up by a handbook for students to use during their placement.
All in all, a busy and satisfying year.
Bring on the next one!