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Vision Express backs Government’s pledge to boost apprenticeships across England

Press Release   •   Aug 21, 2015 13:25 BST

Vision Express welcomes the Government’s plans, unveiled today, to increase the number of quality apprenticeships across England. The national optical retailer has already placed 79 apprentices into its training scheme and is now calling for applicants for its autumn intake.

Last year Vision Express joined The 5% Club, helping tackle the issue of youth unemployment in the UK by pledging to have 5% of its UK workforce comprising young people on structured training schemes over the next five years.

Vision Express has seen huge success with its 13-month employee-embedded apprenticeship scheme, launched 18 months ago. Applications have exceeded 3,000, averaging 40 applicants per place, and the retailer’s first recruits graduated in June.

Each graduate has taken up a full time, permanent post as an Optical Assistant within Vision Express, qualifying with a Level 2, Intermediate Apprenticeship in Health (Optical Retail), which is equivalent to five GCSEs.

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

Kate Clayton, Vision Express Human Resources Director who joined the organisation as an apprentice herself, explains: “We strongly support the government’s commitment to further increasing the number and quality of apprenticeships available to young people. Our own apprenticeship programme has been vital in bringing bright new talent into our business. We value the opportunity to contribute our views as an employer on the detail of these plans.”

To qualify for the apprenticeship scheme candidates must be at least 16 years old and not in full or part time education, with a great attitude and aptitude to learn.

A specially-commissioned video charting the experiences of Vision Express apprentices is available to view here:

For more information about the apprenticeships at Vision Express visit:

About Vision Express

Vision Express is the third largest optical retailer in the UK and part of GrandVision,the global leader in optical retail operating across 43 countries, spanning over 5,800 stores and online.

With more than 390 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Built on a passion for the profession, it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best individual optical care, the right product and great value. Customers can select from a vast range of genuine designer brands and the latest technology lenses, through to complete glasses from £39.

Vision Express is considered one of the leading and most trusted opticians in the UK and Ireland, with its European offering supported through sister eye care brands Grand Optical, Solaris and Generale D'Optique.

With around 4,000 employees, Vision Express makes a significant difference to the communities it operates within, and the organisations it chooses to support. As part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, Vision Express is proud to partner with a range of healthcare charities, which have touched the lives of customers and teams. These companies provide vital support to people affected by vision-related conditions. They are part of the Vision Express Charity Project and include:

Alzheimer’s Research UK

Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)

International Glaucoma Association

Macular Society

Stroke Association

Temple Street University Hospital.

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