How Do Apprenticeships Help us #BlazeATrail? Specsavers Allerton’s Story

Posted on March 08, 2019
Author: Lifeatspecsavers

We asked Zoe Morris, Store Director at Specsavers Allerton, how hiring Apprentices helped her to #BlazeATrail in her store:

Benefit - How has your store benefited from employing Apprentices?
We have employed Apprentices for several years in the Allerton Specsavers store and many have remained employed with us for several years after successful completion of their Apprenticeships. This saves time and money on recruitment which is a huge benefit. The structured learning framework of the Apprenticeship schemes means that the learner has a clear plan of the weeks and months ahead at all times throughout, so they know what is expected of them and in what time frame.

Apprentices grow steadily in confidence as they progress through the course. The more confident and competent they become, the more useful they are to the business - meaning the return on investment is huge.

Learn - What have you learnt through Apprenticeships and what would you say to anyone considering hiring one?
All of the Apprentices we have employed have been young people with drive and ambition looking for an opportunity to succeed in a career. In my experience, Apprentices tend to be keen to learn and progress and often take ownership of their learning and development so they absolutely make the best future employees.

I'd absolutely recommend Apprenticeships to other employers. The fact that there is an assessor that comes to visit is fantastic support for the Apprentice and also for the business because the assessor can benchmark your Apprentice against others and give detailed feedback on their progress.

Aspire - An Apprentice’s view on what their Apprenticeship has enabled them to achieve
Harry Salter Lab Technician Apprentice “The Lab Technician Apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to learn new skills and gain more confidence in my abilities. It has given me a great foundation for a fantastic career. My communication skills have improved vastly since embarking on the course as I work in the Lab with other Lab Technicians and on the retail floor helping customers.

I am still learning new things on a daily basis, which keeps me motivated and interested. I am extremely happy and appreciative of the level of support I receive from my peers, my Apprenticeship assessor and the Management team in the store I work. They have all played a part in me enjoying my journey so far. I feel the Apprenticeship has provided a structure to my learning whilst helping me improve my Maths and English skills, neither of which I would have felt the benefit of without the Apprenticeship. I look forward to completing my Apprenticeship and coming out the other side set up with the key skills and learnings for a lifelong career.

Zest - Why are we and our Apprentices passionate about the value the Apprenticeship brings?
As a leader, I have always been passionate about helping young people to find their starting block on the career ladder. Apprenticeships did not really exist when I left school, so it took me longer to find what I wanted to do career-wise and I would have hugely benefitted had I had similar opportunities. I ended up finding a career purely by chance.

It is not always easy for young people to find an opportunity to start out in a career, some are even exploited for unpaid work experience. I often attend careers events at schools and colleges to promote early careers and Apprenticeships to young people and Harry is a fantastic ambassador for Apprenticeships as he is enjoying his so much.

Energise – What is the cultural impact of hiring Apprentices?
Apprenticeships being present in a business helps create an environment in which learning and development is paramount to people, and key to the success of the business. The keenness and willingness to learn of the Apprentices usually rubs off on others, creating a focused team within the workplace.

Other team members also see the level of support that the employer is willing to contribute as the sign of a great place to work with lots of opportunity to progress. The team see the value in having many levels of experience within a team and see that the company has a lot to offer them as an employee. The work ethic of the Apprentices I have had the pleasure of working with certainly contributes to improving the motivations for success.

Would you like to #BlazeATrail? Get in touch with Specsavers Recruitment Services for a quick chat about our award-winning Apprenticeship scheme. You can call SRS on 01566 771 888 or email uk.recruitment@specsavers.com