On Friday 20 June, Sparkle Dental Labs welcomed a selection of esteemed professionals to its remarkable premises in Leeds. The event presented a great opportunity to celebrate both the company’s first year of business as well as its successful drive for dental technician apprenticeships.
Among the distinguished guests were Andrew Jones; MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Delroy Beverley; chairman of The National Apprenticeship Ambassadors Task Force for Yorkshire and Humberside and Anthony Knowles; head of employer and delivery services with the National Apprenticeship Service. An array of highly respected dental lab owners also attended the event.
The Trailblazer Apprenticeship Scheme
The Government’s Trailblazer initiative seeks to improve and develop apprenticeship schemes in 29 different industry sectors, and owner of Sparkle Dental Labs, Mustafa Mohammed, is leading the way to create a programme designed for dental technicians. The innovative scheme will offer an array of advantages for the British public with hugely increased employment opportunities and the chance to ‘earn while you learn’. Participating employers will also benefit from enhanced productivity, lower staff turnover (Populus, 2008) and an increased skill set among the company.
Committed to spreading the word and raising awareness and support for dental technician apprenticeships, Sparkle Dental Labs was delighted to welcome MP Andrew Jones to meet some of the professionals involved.
After comparing the state-of-the-art laboratory to that of a James Bond film set, Mr Jones was kind enough to offer a few words of encouragement and thanks to those who had gathered. ‘Involvement in the Trailblazer Apprenticeship scheme shows you are taking responsibility for the skills and training needed in your industry. Apprenticeships are one of the most important parts of education in Britain, and I hope that all UK industries start to recognise their value and invest in future employees to re-balance the economy by sector and geography. I believe few sectors will, however, create as much excitement and as much drive as the dental laboratory industry has, and for that I would like to congratulate everyone involved.'
Practise what you preach
Delroy Beverley later echoed Mr Jones in the need to expand the apprenticeship schemes into more UK industries, while offering high praise for Mustafa Mohammed and his team at Sparkle Dental Labs. ‘Crucially, Mustafa has recognised the need to do something and identified the generational changes that must be made to influence and motivate the next generation within the dental lab profession. Asking for no personal accolade, he has nurtured this idea and is dedicated to providing a blueprint that shows the Government and other businesses alike, that you really can “practise what you preach”. Sparkle Dental Labs is a great example of just this, and I commend Mustafa on his vision and resilience. We now need to replicate this commitment in other industries, with greater benefits for more people and for the British economy.’
Anthony Knowles added: ‘The facilities at Sparkle Dental Labs are fantastic – something for Yorkshire to be proud of. I think this is matched by Mustafa’s approach to offer more chances of employment for young people. The apprenticeships will provide a great way for people to learn new skills as they earn, with the chance to progress to a much higher level and enjoy a prosperous career. For employers, apprenticeships offer even more benefits including a high return on investment, increased productivity, loyalty and staff retention, and what’s more customers are highly supportive. I would encourage as many business owners as possible to get involved with the scheme, and thank all who already are.’
Populus (2008) Apprenticeships [Online] http://www.populus.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/download_pdf-060208-Hill–Knowlton-on-behalf-of-The-Learning–Skills-Council-Apprenticeships.pdf [Accessed 10 July 2014].
For any additional information from the National Apprenticeship Service, please visit www.apprenticeship.org.uk. For more details about Sparkle dental Labs, please call 0800 138 6255, email [email protected] or visit: www.sparkledentallabs.com.