A close contender to be Lord Alan Sugar’s latest protégée has helped Vision Express celebrate National Apprenticeship Week (March 5-9).

Florist Elizabeth McKenna (pictured centre), who starred in BBC show The Apprentice, shared her advice with 14 new Vision Express trainees as they started at the company’s head office in Ruddington, Nottinghamshire this week.

Ahead of the awareness week, McKenna visited the office to provide first-hand insight into the benefits of doing an apprenticeship by hosting a Q&A session with the new starters.

She said: ‘To be able to learn “on the job” is hugely beneficial and I hope that I succeeded in motivating this bright new group of apprentices for their journey ahead.’

The apprentices will embark on a 13-month employer-embedded scheme and, if successful, they will have the opportunity to secure a full-time role as an optical assistant.

Matt Burton, head of learning and development at VE, said: ‘Our new recruits can thrive within a growing company offering unique and diverse career potential and we wish them every success both on the scheme and with their future at Vision Express.’