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Outstanding grading for Specsavers ‘exceptional’ apprenticeship programme

Outstanding grading for Specsavers ‘exceptional’ apprenticeship programme

SPECSAVERS’ apprenticeship programme has achieved top marks – with an ‘outstanding’ grading from the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).

Specsavers apprenticeship team celebrate the Ofsted outstanding grading

It is the only optical and retail training employer provider to have achieved this rating on the latest updated list of outstanding providers in England published by Ofsted. Specsavers is one of eight employer providers graded as outstanding by Ofsted against the Education Inspection Framework, which was first introduced in September 2019.

‘Leaders and managers have very carefully considered and designed exceptional apprenticeship training to meet the skills needs of the optical sector,’ said Ofsted in its assessment of the Specsavers apprenticeship programme.

Specsavers offers three apprenticeship schemes – optical assistant, spectacle maker and customer service. With more than 500 apprentices employed on these schemes, Specsavers is one of the largest apprenticeship employer providers to have achieved an outstanding grading in England.

Ofsted’s inspection of Specsavers, conducted this summer, also highlighted how leaders ensure that all apprentices benefit from high-quality training.

‘Apprentices receive extremely well-planned and monitored on- and off-the-job training. They benefit from excellent resources to develop new and existing knowledge, skills and behaviours and to support their practical learning at work, for example mathematics for optics,’ said Ofsted.

‘Apprentices enjoy the very well-planned, frequent and supportive learning sessions with their coaches and rightly appreciate the positive culture of inclusivity staff have created. As a result, apprentices attend training and the workplace well and make very good progress towards achieving their qualification.’

Specsavers Group CEO John Perkins says: ‘An apprenticeship will be the first step for many people starting a career in optics and we want to make sure that people joining Specsavers are given access to the best training and development from day one so they can realise their full potential. This report is a fantastic endorsement of the work of our apprenticeships team who have worked so hard to develop this industry-leading programme.’

Specsavers Head of Apprenticeships Dena Wyatt congratulated her colleagues and apprentices for their hard work, saying the outstanding grading by Ofsted was the result of amazing teamwork.

‘The incredible apprenticeships team work closely with our amazing apprentices, practice colleagues and business owners to coach, guide and develop our apprentices to be the best they can be. They are our pipeline of brilliant talent and part of what makes us so successful,’ she says.

‘We are very proud to have achieved an outstanding grade, but it does not stop here. We still have so much in the pipeline to make our programmes even better.’

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