New BTEC for optical assistants

Specsavers has created a BTEC qualification to develop the skills of thousands of optical assistants (OAs) working in its community practices.    The new Pearson BTEC Level 3 certificate includes units from the existing Pearson BTEC Level 3 certificate for optometric clinical assistants and dispensing assistants. Learners choose additional units to fit their roles, providing a tailored learning experience.   Jodie Glanville (pictured) is the first person to complete the new qualification, works at Specsavers’ Plymouth practice: “I use the knowledge I gained completing the Cert 3…

Get that job – how to succeed at interview

Getting a job in eyecare requires strong communication and interpersonal skills. The interview is crucial – a chance to showcase your qualifications and personality. Here are some top tips to help you succeed. Research Before stepping into the interview room, thoroughly research the firm. Understand their values, mission, and recent achievements. This knowledge will not only demonstrate your genuine interest but also allow you to tailor your responses to align with the company's goals. Highlight your competence Be prepared to…

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…

Celebrating apprentices with learning differences and disabilities

Virtual event, Monday 5 Feb 1pm–2pm Register here Join this webinar on the first day of National Apprenticeship Week to hear from disabled apprentices, and those with learning differences, sharing what works when it comes to supporting people with additional needs. Rabia Lemahieu of Disability Rights UK explains how employers can embrace diversity.

Earn while you learn – apprenticeships

National Apprenticeship Week in February highlighted that there's never been a better time to think about combining working and learning. You can get hands-on experience while studying for a recognised qualification – and earning a salary.  There are a range of opportunities in eyecare including apprenticeships for optical assistants for spectacle makers (lab technicians) in customer service in business Eyecare apprentices work in every size of business, from independent local opticians to nationwide or international firms such as Specsavers or…

Virtual event 10.00am 5 February – finding an apprenticeship

05/02/2024, 10:00–10:30am If you have been considering your next career move and want to earn while you learn, join this event today. Get some pointers from Paul Riddock, Managing Director of Swarm Recruitment, who has many years of experience placing the right individual with the right organisation. He will share insights on how to find the right apprenticeship and how to land it. CLICK HERE TO BOOK

A day in the life… the lens manufacturer

Tony Calvo is the operations manager for Optimum RX Lens Specialists, who manufacture and supply prescription lenses to opticians, hospitals and laboratories throughout the UK, Europe and beyond. What do you do?  I’m responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly in the production process, coordinating different aspects of manufacturing, making sure we meet quality standards, stay on schedule, and manage resources efficiently. How do you start your working day?  It usually begins with a hot coffee while I review the…

It’s not all rocket science – podcast highlights careers in STEM

If you are wondering where studying science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) could take you, turn to the the Eye Opening Careers podcast for inspiration. Hosts Gemma Drake, an early careers specialist, and optics educator Nas Hinglotwala are passionate about helping young people succeed.  They talk to students, employers and university tutors about careers in science, exploring how Gen Z are navigating their post-16 studies. In the latest episode, second year pharmacy students Abigail Wattleworth and Uns Khatib discuss their…

How to find work experience

Work experience is a great way to get a taste of a future career and find out what avenues might suit you. But it’s important to start your research soon – lots of other students are looking at the same time so opportunities can go fast. How can you find the right opening?  Your tutors will be able to advise you on common routes and connections to employers. But that doesn’t mean you need to stick to their contacts. For…

How to choose a career when you don’t know what to do

It can be hard to decide where you fit in the world of work and where your skills apply. But there are ways to find a fulfilling career. This advice applies to everyone from school leavers to students and career changers.   Identify your interests and talents Think about what you like and what you are good at – and what challenges you enjoy. Are your skills and knowledge a good fit for a particular field?  Ask yourself what transferable skills you…

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