We hear Henna’s story on how she came to become an apprentice Lab Technician…
Having finished school, with a planned career in optics, a dispensing optician in fact, I decided to go to a local sixth form college, choosing to take Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Maths; all of which kept open the route of a career in optics through university.
Halfway through my first year, I decided college wasn’t the right option for me, the way in which the learning took place wasn’t something I enjoyed or felt nurtured by. It was at this point I decided to start exploring my other options. All through secondary school I had been taught about Apprenticeships, and the benefits of choosing Apprenticeships over A-levels, but even still, many people saw, and still do see, Apprenticeships as a ‘fall back’ compared to A-levels; despite both offering the exact same educational content.
Having done some research, I found that I could still pursue a career in Optics and more specifically still become a Dispensing Optician, through the Apprenticeship route. There were 2 Apprenticeships I could have chosen, both allowing the same progression route.
After lots of research and lengthy amounts of thinking, I decided that the best option for myself would be to go with the Lab Technician Apprenticeship to begin with, simply because this would enable me to have better background knowledge of the frame types and the lens types, which is good knowledge to have as a Dispensing Optician.
Many people do still see Apprenticeships as ‘less’ than A-levels, but personally, I beg to differ. Having now experienced both college/ sixth form and an Apprenticeship, I’d definitely say that Apprenticeships have far more to offer. They allow you to learn on the job, getting you both a nationally recognised, respected qualification as well as hands-on experience, that you wouldn’t be able to gain through university. The Apprenticeship so far has allowed me to learn new information, apply that information; seeing it in action and gain more than just the theoretical knowledge behind why something happens, or why something is done in a certain way.
If you think this could be the right choice for you then click here to browse apprenticeships in your area.