Bright future – could an apprenticeship be for you?

Dena Wyatt, Specsavers’ head of apprenticeships, explains how you can take the first step to an exciting career.

“Apprenticeships are a great choice for young people and career changers. They are a stepping stone into your future. They open the door. You get the opportunity to earn while you learn, to get a job and gain experience,” Dena Wyatt, Specsavers’ head of apprenticeships explains.

Her advice to anyone thinking about their first career move – or making a change? “Look at what you are interested in. What do you enjoy?” Then go and research employers in that area.

Specsavers has more than 650 apprentices across the country and they are always recruiting. “Apprentices start with us every Monday,” says Dena. There are roles available in customer service, for optical assistants, lab technicians and hearing aid dispensers. 

Earn while you learn

Each store is owned locally – they are all joint venture partnerships – so sets their own salaries but they all pay at least the national rate. You can find vacancies here – enter ‘apprentice’ and the location you want. 

There are apprenticeships at Level 2, equivalent to GCSEs, or Level 3, equivalent to A levels. The schemes take 12 to 18 months before you gain a recognised qualification. It’s a great start to your career that could take you anywhere.

Hitting the heights

“More than 90% of apprentices stay with us after they qualify,” says Dena. They have gone on to develop their careers and reach senior roles: training as dispensing opticians or optometrists; becoming store managers or even directors who own their own stores. Some go to the corporate side, working in business. 

It’s not just about learning on the job. Specsavers offers structured training, tailored to each career. Every apprentice has a coach to support them and an online platform with modules to complete.

The future for apprentices is bright, Dena says: “We want to get brilliant people into our business who are being trained to industry standards. We need to fill the recruitment pipeline  with future talent.”

Find out more about the roles available to apprentices at Specsavers:

Optical assistants

Optical assistants help people find the perfect eyewear. Find out more

Customer service 

These are friendly, enthusiastic people who help customers over the phone or face to face. Find out more

Spectacle maker/lab technician,

Spectacle makers, also known as lab technicians, make and repair glasses. They use technology to interpret optical prescriptions and drawings. Find out more

Hearing aid dispenser

Optical firms don’t just offer specs and contact lenses. Many, including Specsavers, also provide hearing services. This apprenticeship takes 18 to 24 months, combining hands-on experience and campus-based learning at partner universities. Find out more