AN 18-year-old from Woking has completed a coveted apprenticeship with national optician Vision Express, graduating during National Apprenticeship Week.

Kirsty Kent, who attended Gordon’s School, recently completed the 13-month scheme, working at Vision Express in the town. Kirsty will continue her role with the company.

After achieving a Level 2, Intermediate Apprenticeship in Health (Optical Retail), which is equivalent to five GCSEs, Kirsty said: “Vision Express has great reviews and I used to get my eyes tested there.

“I wasn’t always interested in optical retail but when I saw the programme I wanted to join. My favourite part has been the training days, and the most challenging has been being the youngest in store.

“I think the apprenticeship is a great way into employment as you learn everything you need in the correct way with a lot of attention to detail.”

Vision Express chief executive Onur Köksal added: “Apprentices are an important injection of fresh talent into our business, and we’re committed to supporting them through their retail and optical careers.

“We’re proud to be able to provide our own apprenticeship scheme that offers youngsters with a passion to learn real opportunities to progress. Our apprentices have gone on to manage stores, become dispensing opticians and even study an optometry degree, which just goes to show the breadth of opportunities available.”

National Apprenticeship Week is an annual celebration of apprenticeships, highlighting the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy.

For more information about apprenticeships at Vision Express visit

For the full story get the 13 February edition of the News & Mail