Specsavers has welcomed more than 120 graduates for 2021 in its first ever ‘hybrid-virtual’ induction event.
With COVID requirements still impacting travel, the optical franchise welcomed its newest cohort of graduate optometrists across Australia and New Zealand. They attended in-region at local training centres in Auckland, Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria, where they tuned into a livestream from the company’s Port Melbourne headquarters.
The two-day event was the first time Specsavers has attempted something of this nature. Attending in person at regional events also allowed graduates to network with their local colleagues, as well as receive training and resources from the company’s Melbourne-based support team.
Despite the disruption of COVID-19, this year’s graduates numbers are comparable to recent years. A second induction will also take place later in the year with Deakin University’s graduating cohort.
However, Specsavers communications director Mr Charles Hornor said recruitment is limited by the number of optometrists graduating from universities. He said having 120 graduates from Australia and New Zealand commence employment was a significant achievement given the current circumstances.
“Competition to recruit graduating optometrists is fierce and we’re looking forward to a greater graduating cohort being available in the years ahead,” he said.
“It’s a competitive market for graduates in both metro and regional locations, which reiterates our message that we need more optometry students coming through the system to support the industry’s recruitment needs. It also goes to show the need to get behind the new courses at the UWA in Perth and the University of Canberra.”
The Specsavers Graduate program is said to be a unique offering, with a structured, two-year development program that provides graduates with clinical and commercial knowledge to grow their clinical skills and expertise. It offers a combination of professional events, courses and experiences to enrich personal and professional growth.
Specsavers director of professional recruitment for ANZ Mr Raj Sundarjee said: “While we always love to bring our graduates to Victoria for induction, the current global climate means we need to continually innovate and think outside the square to deliver great experience and training to our graduates.
“I’m thrilled to welcome these early career optometrists to our graduate program and using the latest technology, still provide them with a fantastic induction experience to kick-start their Specsavers careers.”