Dover apprentice honoured as he completes Vision Express programme

Monday, 9 May 2016
A Dover apprentice is celebrating after graduating as part of the 'Class of 2016', completing a programme offering career opportunities with optical retailer Vision Express.

Matt Hughes
Matt Hughes
19-year-old Matt Hughes saw off competition from an average of 50 applicants for each place. The Class of 2016 is only the second group of graduates to complete the 13-month employee-embedded scheme.

Each has qualified with a Level 2, Intermediate Apprenticeship in Health (Optical Retail), which is equivalent to five GCSEs.

Matt, who lives in Guston, was recognised in an official graduation ceremony at the Vision Express Nottingham HQ. He will continue his career with the team at the Dover Vision Express store.

He said: "I applied for the apprenticeship because I wanted to find an opportunity that could be a career path. I dropped out of my A Levels because it wasn't for me. In my area everyone heads from the classroom to the Ports to work on the ferries, but I was looking for something more diverse.

"The scheme has made me grow up, I think I’ve gained a lot from it on a personal level. It wasn’t easy, but the team I’ve worked within is great. It’s a small store and we’re like a family. They’ve supported me every step of the way. I want to continue to train towards a dispensing optician role, that’s my goal. There are such good career prospects within the company, and they’ll help you achieve your potential."

Vision Express human resources director Kate Clayton, who was once an apprentice herself, said: "It's great to bring such capable, ambitious young talent into the business. People are the lifeblood of any retailer and the first impression of the organisation to its customers. We place great value on our apprentices and it's a testament, both to them as ambitious individuals and the scheme itself, that all of the graduates are staying with the company. To be chosen from an average of 50 applicants per place is a huge achievement and I'm proud of every single one of the Class of 2016."
A total of 120 apprentices have been placed at Vision Express since the scheme launched. 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.

The next apprenticeship intake starts in June, with applications now open. To qualify candidates must be at least 16 years old and not in full or part time education, with a great attitude and aptitude to learn. For more information visit

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