apprentice optical assistant Chloe with dispensing assistant Sally- Cwbran Specsavers

Sixth form drop-out finds her way as optical assistant apprentice

A Pontewydd girl who dropped out of sixth form is eyeing up her future after starting an apprenticeship at a Cwmbran opticians.

Chloe Hughes, 17, joined Specsavers after dropping out of her first year of college. Despite having no prior experience in optics, she quickly settled into her role and has built up the confidence to work closely with customers and other members of staff.

While her initial training plan predicted that she would need a year to learn different aspects of the job – including registrations, collections, lab and office work – this has been reduced to nine months because of her rapid development.

Chloe hopes that her apprenticeship can lead to a full-time role as an optical assistant and she would like to train to become a dispensing optician in the future.

Chloe says: ‘When I was in sixth form I felt lost, as I had no idea what I was going to do after I finished my course. I saw that Specsavers was advertising for an apprentice – it’s always had a good reputation so I went for it and was so chuffed when I was offered the role.

‘I feel like my people skills and confidence have increased hugely since I’ve joined the store, largely thanks to the helpful advice and support that the team here has given me. They have shown me so much already, but I know I still have a lot to learn, and am excited about the potential career this apprenticeship could give me.’

The apprenticeship programme provides practical, work-based learning with the opportunity to gain nationally recognised qualifications.

Mark Edwards, director at Specsavers in Cwmbran, says: ‘Chloe is a great addition to our team and has progressed leaps and bounds in just a few short months.

Staff development has always been vitally important to us and means we are best positioned to provide friendly and professional advice to our customers

‘I am excited to see where Chloe’s career will take her and we will continue to support her as she progresses within the store.’

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