Specsavers’ apprenticeship scheme, which is designed to offer young people the opportunity to enter optics, has been recognised at the CIPD People Management Awards.
The multiple received the best apprenticeship scheme accolade before being named as the overall winner at the awards, with judges stating they were “impressed with its strategic approach and the fact that the scheme offered young people a viable alternative to university.”
Specsavers’ approach to encouraging and supporting diversity was also highlighted by judges.
CIPD chief executive, Peter Cheese, said: “For our overall winner, this year we were looking for an initiative that has exemplified great practice. The Specsavers apprenticeship scheme brought it all together, providing an impressive range of opportunities for apprentices in different areas of the organisation, and also at a variety of skill levels.”
Specsavers trains more than 400 apprentices, and welcomed its 1000th apprentice onto the scheme in February.
Earlier this year Ofsted rated the multiple’s Level 2 and Level 3 apprenticeship programmes as the ‘highest quality’ in the retail optical sector.
Specsavers reported that nine out of 10 apprentices remain with the multiple after the programme ends, and almost two-thirds of those go on to further learning.
The multiple’s branch in Blackburn is just one of the practices who has welcomed apprentices to its team. Ophthalmic director at the store, Stuart Ingleby, said: “We’ve had apprentices for a number of years. You have to give them the time to do the studying; the more you put in, the more you get out. You get excellent results, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”