University v. Apprenticeship - what route will you take?

Posted in Apprenticeships on July 27, 2017
Author: Sam Reed

Deciding what to do after you finish your A-Levels is a big decision. Do you enter the world of work with an apprenticeship and earn why you learn or continue your studies at university?

Attitudes to apprenticeships have evolved and they are now recognised as an equal alternative to university. Learning what Specsavers have to offer will hopefully help make a tricky decision that little bit easier.

What is an Apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a real job with training which would allow you to earn while you learn, whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification.

Benefits of doing an Apprenticeship:

  • Earning a salary
  • Training in the skills employers want
  • Excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace
  • Increase future earning potential
  • Learning at a pace suited to the individual with the support of a mentor
  • Paid holiday

Why choose Specsavers for your Apprenticeship?
Specsavers has been on the high street for 30 years and has built up a large base of loyal customers, with one in three people who wear glasses choosing a Specsavers frame. And even though Specsavers has more than 1700 stores and 30,000+ employees around the world, it is still a family-run business.

Whichever store you work in, you can be sure you will be part of a team that delivers the right glasses, contact lenses or hearing aids that can have a dramatic impact on people’s lives.  If you live the buzz of the shop floor, enjoy improving the quality of people’s lives and want to work with experienced and enthusiastic colleagues, Specsavers is the place for you.

What route can I take?
Now you know all about our apprenticeship offer, find out which one could be right for you. 

Retail Apprenticeship
Apprentices in our retail teams are usually customer facing and typically based in our stores throughout England. 

Support Office Apprenticeship
The apprenticeships within our support offices, cover many business areas from IT, marketing, accounting to surveying and range from Level 2 to Level 7.

Supply Chain Apprenticeship
Our supply chain apprenticeships are key to keeping the business moving. They work within our manufacturing and supply chain sites and ensure we always have enough products for our customers. 

How will I be assessed?
Learning will be achieved in a variety of ways, with much of it being self-led and through our online learning portal. There will also be regular on-the-job training and formal classroom sessions.

Over the course of programme, you will be allocated an assessor, who will be in touch with you every four to eight weeks, either in person of over the telephone.

During the visits in person, your assessor will observe you carrying out daily tasks and typically the telephone contact will be to ask questions and discuss areas of your role to check your knowledge and understanding. In addition, you will be assigned projects and will need to complete written questions and case studies for your e-portfolio.

How can I progress?
We’re committed to giving everyone at Specsavers all the learning and development opportunities they need to achieve their full potential. Everyone is different, which is why we will draw up a personal development plan for you, which aligns with your own talents and ambitions.

What will I earn?
The minimum apprenticeship salary is set by the government and gives people the opportunity to earn whilst they learn. At the discretion of our local store directors many of our apprentices progress on from this salary very quickly.

How can I apply?
To apply for an Apprenticeship with us click on the “Find Apprenticeship vacancies” button on the right hand side of this page and do a search for current vacancies in your area. Complete an application form online and if you are shortlisted, you will be invited to an in-store interview.

You can hear two stories from current apprentices below: