Broadcast marks National Apprenticeship week

A video to inspire young people into optics careers will run in hundreds of schools and colleges during National Apprenticeship Week, starting 6 February.

Adam Matthews, an apprentice at Specsavers Chesterfield, Derbyshire, will feature alongside colleagues Helen Belkhodja, a director covering four of the firm’s practices in Surrey, and head of apprenticeships Dena Wyatt.

“It’s exciting to be taking part,” says Adam, who joined the apprenticeship scheme in June 2022. “I’ve learnt a huge range of skills in a variety of departments alongside amazing people. I can’t recommend apprenticeships enough.”

Helen says: “Specsavers has an excellent career path and training for all team members.”

Dena says: “‘I love National Apprenticeship Week because it is a whole week dedicated to showcasing not only the success of apprenticeships in Specsavers but also raising awareness of the opportunities in the optics industry.

“Many of our apprentices wouldn’t have been aware of this exciting industry without the apprenticeship. It’s a stepping stone into a career that offers so many opportunities.”

Specsavers have supported nearly 1,500 apprentices since 2017, with more than half then planning to study further clinical qualifications at levels 3 and 4.

The production is in partnership with Learn Live UK, which provides careers advice, recruitment and health awareness broadcasts to schools and colleges across the UK. Deputy director Kathryn Ogdin says: “Specsavers is the only optical organisation that will be joining us during our broadcasts throughout the week.

“It’s great to see large employers getting on board to celebrate apprenticeships and shine a light on the opportunities that apprenticeships can offer.”

T levels Thursday

The Specsavers apprenticeship team will be raising awareness of the Health Science T level for optical care services on 9 February as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

Senior managers Pete Pavitt and Luanne Watson-Upex will deliver two sessions to colleges.

Run in partnership with educational charity NCFE, one is for staff, heads of departments and senior colleagues and the other is for students.

Dena is also running two sessions for Specsavers practice directors and managers, alongside alongside NCFE’s sector manager for health, science and social care, Craig Wade.

“We are still on our mission to find colleges to deliver the optical care services route and make sure students are aware of this amazing industry and the opportunities available,” she says.

Craig says: “It’s great to have Specsavers onboard to support the next generation of learners in accessing careers in health and science through high quality technical education.

“We’re excited to be working on a series of webinars to raise the profile of the new T level in Healthcare Science – Optical Care Services. It’s a work-focused alternative to A levels that will provide a route into the growing optics industry. The webinars will give a real insight into the opportunities in this sector and how Specsavers is supporting industry placements for this specialism.”