TWO apprentices at a Barrow opticians are focusing on their careers after being rewarded with permanent jobs.

Samantha Cox, 25, and Bryony Davis, 21, are both ready to embark on a career in optics after spending just over a year studying and working at Specsavers in Barrow.

Samantha said the apprenticeship has been a “brilliant experience”. She said: “The apprenticeship was such a great way to get into a new career — it was the perfect mix of online study and learning on the job.

"Being at Specsavers was so helpful because there was always lots of support around. I’d never considered optics as a career path, but it’s actually a great fit for me: I’ve had glasses from a very young age so learning all about how they work has been fascinating.”

Bryony said: “I was worried Covid-19 would seriously derail the apprenticeship, but actually it just took a few weeks longer than expected.

"In fact, I learned more than I might have otherwise because during the first lockdown, we only saw key workers in urgent situations, so I had more time to study and got to see lots more interesting cases on the job. I’d definitely recommend this as a route into optics for someone who is considering it as a career.”

Simon LeFever, store director at Specsavers in Barrow, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have two talented new employees in our store.

"It’s been fantastic seeing Samantha and Bryony learn the ropes and become part of the team here.

"Developing and encouraging employees is really important to us and the apprenticeship programme is a vital part of that.”