From education to employment

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians to Launch New National Resource Centre

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians is launching a new training facility for aspiring opticians, the ABDO National Resource Centre, to gain qualifications and pursue a rewarding career in optics. Opening on the 19th of September, the centre will educate enterprising students and prepare them for a career.

The launch event will be attended by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins of Specsavers, plus representatives from Birmingham businesses and sight loss charity Birmingham Focus, as well as West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.

Less than a fifth (19%) of parents in Birmingham would encourage their children to pursue a career as an optician, despite potential high earnings and robust job security. The centre aims to educate not just its students, but the wider population about the benefits of a career in the field.

A quarter of the parents in Birmingham believe that their children would need a degree in order to have a successful career, despite the fact that a career in optics is possible with GCSE qualifications. Only 3% of parents surveyed believed simply having GCSEs would be enough to have a successful career in the future.

Students at the centre will enjoy lecture areas for 60 to 160 people and state of the art equipment for dispensing spectacles, screening for eye disease, training for practitioners to offer minor eye conditions services and spectacle glazing.

The newest training on offer is in Minor Eye Conditions, a service which is growing across the UK, allowing opticians to be the first port of call for if you have a red, sore, itchy or irritated eye.

Aspiring opticians can ‘learn while they earn’, with flexible training available to those with GCSEs and A-levels looking to achieve a diploma or degree level qualification alongside membership of a professional body, and distance learning access courses available for those who need to brush up their skills first.

ABDO is delighted to be investing in the Birmingham region. The organisation has been working with local tradesman of all types and the local office of a design company. Employment opportunities with ABDO are growing: already the organisation has employed two full-time members of staff and two members of staff that work 25 hrs per week with further opportunities to come as the business expands.

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