The profession has brought this on themselves. As a business owner it has become more and more difficult to recruit employed optoms, due to so many opting for Locum work. The motivating factor being the ridiculously high daily rates so many locums charge. The income potential for locums is way out of sync with that of employed optoms and unsustainable on a long term basis.
Both types of employment have their benefits and both are required, however it’s totally unrealistic for locums to charge fees at the current levels.
Maybe correct this situation now, and the very strong arguments for not having apprenticeships will have a chance of success.