Ex-radio presenter graduates from coveted Vision Express apprenticeship scheme in record ‘Class of 2019’ cohort

A radio presenter from Nottingham has completed a coveted apprenticeship with national optician Vision Express, which this year celebrates the largest graduating class in its history.

Lauren Wilde (18) has taken up a full-time post at the Nottingham Victoria Centre Vision Express store after completing the 13-month employee-embedded scheme, which received a record number of applicants for its 2018 intake.   

Lauren, who attended Central College in Nottingham studying journalism before making the career change, has achieved a Level 2, Intermediate Apprenticeship in Health (Optical Retail), which is equivalent to five GCSEs.

Lauren was looking for a career change when she spotted the Vision Express apprenticeship.

“I thought it sounded daunting at first, but I was delighted to see that no optical experience was needed.” she explains. 

“I took the chance and applied, and I’ve never looked back. I knew when I walked into the offices that I had made the right decision – the whole team were so welcoming and supportive.”

Lauren has her ambitions set on management, hoping to become a team leader within five years.

The apprenticeship scheme is just one way Vision Express 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 five years.

Matt Burton, Head of Learning and Development at Vision Express comments;

“We are thrilled to be inspiring so many young people into an apprenticeship programme with Vision Express. Supporting people in taking their first steps into both retail and optical careers, has always been important to us and we are incredibly proud of Lauren whose enthusiasm for apprenticeships is very genuine and contagious and we feel very privileged to be bringing the talent of the future into our business."  

Vision Express CEO Onur Köksal adds:

“Apprentices are an important injection of fresh talent into our business and we’re committed to supporting them through their retail and optical careers. We’re proud to be able to provide our own apprenticeship scheme that offers youngsters with a passion to learn, real opportunities to progress. Our apprentices have gone on to manage stores, become dispensing opticians and even study an Optometry degree, showing the breath of opportunities available.”

Managed and delivered by in-house optical experts, the apprenticeship scheme gives candidates the opportunity to earn while they learn, with assessor support and hands-on experience.

To qualify candidates must be at least 16 years old and not in full or part time education.

A specially-commissioned video charting the experiences of Vision Express apprentices can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acUROlBk414

For more information about the apprenticeships at Vision Express visit: www.visionexpresscareers.com

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