A cohort of 22 people have graduated from Vision Express’ apprenticeship scheme.
The programme, which attracts around 50 applications per place, sees graduates complete a programme that is managed and delivered by in-house optical experts. It is designed to give candidates the opportunity to earn while they learn, with assessor support and hands-on experience.
As the second class of apprentices graduate, Vision Express reported that it has received more than 4500 applications for the programme to date.
The 13-month scheme sees apprentices graduate with a Level 2, Intermediate Apprenticeship in Health (Optical Retail), which is the equivalent to five GCSEs. All of them will remain in employment with the multiple.
Human resources director at Vision Express, Kate Clayton, said: “It's great to once again bring such young talent into the business. People are the lifeblood of any retailer and the first impression of the organisation to its customers.
“We place great value on our apprentices and it's a testament, both to them as ambitious individuals and the scheme itself, that all of the graduates are staying with the company. To be chosen from an average of 50 applicants per place is a huge achievement and I'm proud of every single one of the class of 2016.”
The company said that the apprenticeship scheme is one way it is helping to tackle the issue of youth unemployment in the UK. It was the first retailer to join The 5% Club, pledging to have 5% of its UK workforce comprising young people on structured training schemes over the next five years.
Currently it has reached the 4% point, meaning that it is on target to meet this benchmark.
Applications for the next apprenticeship scheme, which starts in June, is now open.
For more information about the apprenticeships, visit the Vision Express website.