The availability of both Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians is limited locally since they are a scarce resource. In order to cultivate this human resource, FOL offers study scholarships which commit the recipients after qualification, to working with the company for a fixed number of years.
FOL grants two types of study scholarships:
- Dispensing Optics
Optometry Scholarship Opportunities
Optometry scholarships are open to both staff and the general public. This rationale exists since the criteria for university entry is stringent and the cost is relatively high.
Based on its need, FOL is prepared to provide up to two (2) scholarships per year. Applicants should provide a CV and copies of all academic certificates. Applicants will be interviewed by the Director – Finance & Administration and the HR Manager and will be assessed in terms of:
- Character qualities
- Customer service ethic
- Qualifications to gain entry into an established and acceptable university which offers optometry
- Previous work experience
During the interview, applicants are also apprised of the terms and conditions of the scholarship. The applicant’s parents are also normally included in the meeting to determine the student’s capability to pay for their portion of the fees. After interviews, the candidates are short-listed and the top-ranked with the most all-round promising chosen.
Dispensing Scholarship Opportunities
Dispensing scholarships are usually given to FOL staff that are either interested in studying optics or are in Dispensing Assistant (DA) positions. It is expected that DAs undertake optic studies and qualify as Dispensing Opticians. These scholarships are normally distributed within the company only, and applications are not invited from the public.
There are two types of optic studies are available to DAs:
- British: Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO)
- American: American Board of Opticianry (ABO).
Both courses are done by distance education. For the ABDO, in the event that final exams cannot be held locally, these are taken in England. All ABO final exams are done in the United States, in a state of the employee’s choosing.
The interested employee should approach the HR Manager or send in a written application indicating interest in doing the optics programme and requesting a scholarship. Alternatively, based on the manpower plan and FOL’s needs, an invitation for applications for the DA position can be issued by the HR Manager.