Hannah Nicholls, 19, and Yasmine Tooze, 18, are now optical assistants at Specsavers, Baddeley Court, Newport and Specsavers in Telford Shopping Centre respectively, having completed a 13-month qualification.
"I was attracted to the idea of learning while on the job, so to speak,’ says Hannah. ‘I had to do four hours a week of study and had an assessor on hand to help if I needed it, plus all the support of the team at the store who were always happy to help if I had a question.
"I thoroughly enjoyed the whole year and I’m now looking forward to putting what I’ve learnt into practice. It’s really given me more confidence and I’d like to go on and do more training, including my Cert 3 qualification.’
"Like Hannah, I enjoyed all aspects of the apprenticeship and feel like I’ve grown in confidence,’ says Yasmine. ‘This was my first job and I was really shy and quiet when I first started but the skills I’ve learnt have helped me to have more faith in my ability. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after leaving school but this has given me a focus and I’m looking forward to the future.’
"Hannah and Yasmine have both worked really hard and we’re very proud of them," said Daniel Judd, supervisor at Specsavers Newport. "It’s great to now have them on board as fully-fledged members of the team and I’ve no doubt they will continue to progress and set their sights on gaining even more qualifications.
"We are also soon to have a further four apprentices across both stores starting their qualifications soon."
Under current government guidance, Specsavers stores remain open for all eye and hearing needs during lockdown.
Appointments need to be made in advance and there are also restrictions on the number of customers allowed in store at any one time, strict social distancing rules and, where possible, card instead of cash payments.
For more information or to book an eye test, call Specsavers Newport on 01952 310 210 or visit specsavers.co.uk/stores/newportshropshire or call Specsavers Telford on 01952 200100 or go to specsavers.co.uk/stores/telford.