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Specsavers Hemel Hempstead apprentice inspires school leavers

03 Feb Specsavers Hemel Hempstead apprentice inspires school leavers

SPECSAVERS Hemel Hempstead located in the Marlowes are proud of their track record of providing training and career progression for all staff members. Notably, during National Apprenticeship Week (7th – 13th February 2022) one member of staff, Vladimir Bursuc is a great ambassador for the store’s apprenticeship scheme.

Vladimir was a pupil at the John F Kennedy Catholic School in Hemel Hempstead, and it was whilst he was at 6th Form considering career and further education options, that he met with the team from Specsavers Hemel Hempstead when they visited the school, and took part in a 6th Form Careers Fair and outlined various career opportunities, including the National Apprenticeship Scheme and Specsavers Traineeship Programme.

This was the first time that Vladimir had explored the option of studying for an apprenticeship or training programme. After discussing the schemes, Vladimir decided to apply and was delighted to be accepted onto the Apprenticeship scheme. It was in June 2021 that he joined the team and started a blended learning programme.

When discussing why he decided to study for the apprenticeship, Vladimir said; ‘I was very attracted to the learning development opportunities and being able to expand my education. Also the transition from school to work seemed to be pretty straightforward, especially as you have a set learning time and structure that is similar to school life!’

Vladimir continued; ‘Studying for nationally recognised qualifications is also providing me with additional skills that I can build on. Within Specsavers the career progression is endless and there is always room for growth, which I personally find exciting and inspiring.’

In April 2022, Vladimir will complete his apprenticeship. During the last seven months he has also attended various in-house Specsavers training courses, and has proven himself to be a valuable member of the team. Upon completion of his Apprenticeship, Vladimir hopes to begin the BTEC Level 3 qualification which would lead to the BTEC Level 3 Certificate for Ophthalmic Dispensing Assistants (Cert. 3) and consists of a blend of academic study, workplace learning and online assessments, and is a nationally recognised qualification with onward progression.

Commenting on the apprenticeship training programme, Vladimir said; ‘Often students can feel a little overwhelmed and lost at the amount of varied information relating to various career options, however an apprenticeship role with Specsavers offers ongoing development, valuable work experience and a great team environment. I also have a mentor who supports and guides me too, so I feel that this training scheme is equipping me with lots of new life skills and specific industry related skills too.’

Vladimir continued; ‘I especially enjoy helping customers and sorting out any issues, it’s been great for building my confidence. I’d definitely recommend the scheme!’

Specsavers Hemel Hempstead Shane Abbas Bhimani, Clinical Director said; ‘Vladimir is a real asset to the store team and a great example of a 6th Form school leaver being able to benefit from an apprenticeship scheme that is offering him invaluable skills and training. In addition, Vladimir can further his qualifications and gain nationally recognised BTEC certificates.’

Mr Bhimani continued; ‘As a store we are proud to support national apprenticeship week and to be able to offer school leavers a career opportunity with Specsavers.’

Specsavers Hemel Hempstead, General Manager, Louise England said; ‘We were really interested in the Specsavers Traineeships when they were piloted last year, consequently we were one of the first stores to get on board. What I really like about the scheme is the fact that the provider looks locally for potential candidates and works with them, prior to introducing them to us.

We see the Traineeship as an opportunity for the trainee to get to know us, and understand how Specsavers operates, whilst learning great skills including customer service, telephone skills and generally building their confidence and overall employability skills. It’s a great career entry point, as it will suit those candidates who might not want to commit to an Apprenticeship.’

Ms England continued; ‘The calibre of applicant’s onto our training programmes has been brilliant! We have been so lucky with our Trainees and Apprentices including Vladimir, who has settled in really well. He has a great can-do attitude and is very keen to learn every aspect of the Optical Apprenticeship, he is doing really great! Vladimir is an asset to Specsavers Hemel Hempstead.
We don’t just recruit Trainees, we also recruit directly into Apprenticeships, we love both the Traineeship and Apprenticeship programmes and will continue to look for our future talent through these routes.

Louise Powell, Head of Apprenticeships at Specsavers, said; ‘Specsavers apprenticeship programmes are a fantastic way to begin or develop a rewarding and successful career.

This is demonstrated by the fact that 94% of our optical assistant apprentices go on to take on a full-time job at Specsavers, 92% say their career prospects have improved and 73% of apprentices who take a role in store then go on to take clinical or management qualifications.

It’s an exciting time to be part of the team. If you’re a hard worker, punctual and ambitious you will do well at Specsavers and there are plenty of opportunities to continue with your development.’

For anyone interested in applying for a Specsavers apprenticeship there are a selection of roles available across the country in optometry, audiology, laboratory technician, customer service practitioners and office support staff. Most of the apprenticeships last up to 13 months depending on the qualification. Applicants must have a minimum of a grade D in English and Maths to be considered.