Apprenticeships are a great way for trainees to earn while they learn and develop their career. Employers benefit from staff gaining skills and knowledge. Macey, an apprentice optical assistant at Michael Offord Optometrist – Opticians in Newcastle and Sam, the practice manager, tell us what makes their journey a success.  

Macey, apprentice

In September I started my apprenticeship with Woodspeen Training after being an optical assistant on a Saturday.

I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about dispensing, spectacle lenses, frame choices and so on. I was quite nervous  as it was something completely new and I thought I would struggle. I have definitely become a lot more confident throughout the year.

Each week I have gained more knowledge and more confidence, which is helpful through all areas in practice. My colleagues are very supportive, always interested in my work and there to help if I need. Once a week I have Zoom calls with my optical tutor. I am very supported and feel comfortable to ask questions whenever I need to.

I would definitely recommend apprenticeships to anyone thinking about it. It’s a great way to learn and gain an understanding of a working environment.

My tips for completing a successful apprenticeship are: don’t be afraid to ask for help; always push yourself, even if you’re worried.

Sam, practice manager

Macey started with the practice working as an assistant on a Saturday. After several months, she approached us to discuss her options as she was undecided what route to take to develop her career. 

An apprenticeship wasn’t something that I had considered. However, an email appeared in my inbox from Woodspeen Training, who help companies recruit and train apprentices. We knew that Macey was a good fit for our team, and so taking her on full time seemed like the perfect option. After exploring what Woodspeen had to offer, we were excited to go ahead. 

It has worked so well for us as Macey completes her weekly Zoom calls and works within the practice. She has huge support from the colleagues around her, managing her weekly tasks well due to the very structured and clear instruction given by Woodspeen.  Her confidence has grown immensely over the year, and we have found it to be a hugely beneficial experience.

Find out more about Woodspeen Training and apprenticeships here.