AN apprenticeship scheme has opened up a whole new career path for a Leigh resident.

Katy Jones was working in a cafe when her customer service skills caught the eye of Dawn Doran, a manager at Future Vision, an opticians in Leigh.

Dawn was so impressed that she began to look into apprenticeship schemes that would train Katy in optical retail, a career that customers service skills are essential for.

Katy said: "I'd never really thought about a career in optical retail until Dawn approached me while I was working in the Tesco Extra café.

We got talking about the opportunities in optical retail and it just went from there. I ultimately wanted a great career path and this opened the door for that."

The 20-year-old enrolled on a year-long course at Wirral Metropolitan College which allows her to learn on the job under Dawn's tutelage.

"When you are doing what you are learning, it makes things a lot easier to understand and you can grasp things more quickly. The apprenticeship has provided me with great new skills and the knowledge to work within a completely different industry as well as give me the confidence to go out there and try new things. Now, I have skills that I never thought I would and I can go on to further develop myself,"

said Katy.

Katy will finish her diploma in May and will graduate to an optical assistant at the opticians based in the Tesco Extra store.