Apprenticeship plans by the government to increase the total number of apprenticeships across England have been welcomed by Vision Express who has revealed that it has a total of 79 apprentices currently working within its own training scheme and is now calling for new applicants for the autumn 2015 intake.
In 2014 Vision Express joined what’s termed as ‘The 5 per cent Club’ whereby a commitment is made by its members to pledge having 5 per cent of their workforce comprising of young people being placed on structured training schemes over the next five years.
In regards to apprenticeship plans, some 18 months ago Vision Express introduced a 13-month optical apprenticeship plan of its own and in June this year saw the first intake complete the apprenticeship scheme. Demand for the apprenticeship scheme has been high with over 3,000 applicants meaning there are an average of 40 applicants per place. All of those qualifying have a Level 2, Intermediate Apprenticeship in Health (Optical Retail), which is equivalent to five GCSEs.
All those who have completed the apprenticeship scheme now have a full time job with Vision Express as an Optical Assistant providing them with the opportunity to earn whilst they learn with assessor support and hands-on experience.
Vision Express Human Resources Director, Kate Clayton, who joined the organisation originally as an apprentice herself, said: ‘We strongly support the government’s commitment towards apprenticeship plans in further increasing the number and quality of apprenticeships available to young people. Our own apprenticeship programme has been vital in bringing bright new talent into our business. We value the opportunity to contribute our views as an employer on the detail of these plans.’