National Apprentice Week 2022 – Build the future, Charlotte Barsdell

We’ve proudly supported 1200 apprentices to successfully complete the programme over the last 5 years, and 90% have stayed with us and continued their professional development.

Charlotte Barsdell knows first-hand how a Specsavers Apprenticeship seeds a lifelong career. She admits she didn’t quite know what was involved when she applied but was interested in the opportunities it opened.


 Charlotte BarsdellThe apprenticeship provides industry experience and understanding

At 19, I started my Optical Assistant Apprenticeship and just a few weeks in knew that optics would provide the career path I was after. The course was a little overwhelming at first, but the clear guidance from Kuda, my Apprenticeship Coach, through frequent in-store and virtual meetings made it easy to digest and less daunting.

It’s a very hands-on learning style which I think suits optics perfectly. I’ve learnt the theory behind different in-store processes, such as spectacle dispensing, which gave me the insight to understand why we do things in a certain way.

The support from Specsavers and colleagues is amazing

My Store Manager, Vicky, Optometrist, Poppy, and the entire team at Specsavers Wells have always been there to answer my endless questions without tiring! I had my sights set on becoming a Dispensing Optician, but with their support and encouragement, I’ve pushed myself further.

Specsavers internal learning platform is such an excellent tool. When I wanted to learn something in a bit more detail, I could search the system and find loads of helpful videos and interactive activities.

There is no limit to what you can achieve

After completing the programme, they invited me to attend a Specsavers Management Seminar to represent apprentices and recommend the programme to managers across the region. It was a great experience and even gave me an insight to see if management would be a path I’d like to follow in the future.

When I was halfway through my apprenticeship, I decided I wanted to gain my Cert 3 and Cert 4 qualifications to continue learning more about optics. I felt well prepared to learn more complex material so much so that I am now studying for my Optometry Degree at Plymouth University with plans to become an optometrist.

It all starts with an application

I could not have imagined myself doing all of this had I not taken the initial step to apply for the Optical Assistant Apprenticeship. I would highly recommend this route to anyone looking for a career with endless possibilities!

If you want to learn more about apprenticeships, click here or search for a vacancy.

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