Strengthening the economy with Trailblazer

shutterstock_111088907Trailblazer in Dental Health’s standards have been approved by the Government. Read on to find out why the scheme’s organiser, Mustafa Mohammed, thinks it can work so well.

The standards that were developed by the Trailblazer in Dental Health have been approved under phase two of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ Trailblazers apprenticeship project. The scheme has been led by Mustafa Mohammed and involved organisations such as King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the ADG (Association of Dental Groups) and the DTA (Dental Technologists Association).

Phase two Trailblazer projects are each made up of leading employers and professional bodies within their own particular sectors. They have collaborated to design new ‘apprenticeship standards’ for occupations in their sector that will represent the foundations of the new apprenticeships. The standards developed by the Trailblazer in Dental Health are in the following occupations:

  • Dental laboratory assistant
  • Dental technician
  • Dental practice management.

Learning opportunities

Mustafa, owner of Genix Healthcare and Sparkle Dental Labs and chair of the Trailblazer in Dental Health, said: ‘I am delighted to be involved in such an exciting project. The Dental Apprenticeship programme will provide fantastic learning opportunities for people across the UK, enabling many to build long and successful careers.

‘The Dental Trailblazers Apprenticeship programme has been a fantastic project to be involved with, it includes three new apprenticeships for dental laboratory assistants, dental technicians and practice managers.

‘It is very exciting to be aiding the development of so many new learning opportunities for people within the dental industry, increasing employment prospects and strengthening the UK economy.’

Team support

Mustafa continued: ‘I would like to thank everyone involved, particularly Professor Stephen Dunne at King’s College London, as well as the ADG and the DTA for their continued commitment and support.

‘The level three dental laboratory assistant apprenticeship lasts a minimum of 18 months and will cover the basic skills needed to work in the laboratory before focusing on specific areas of employment. The pathway is designed to give individuals the opportunity to work their way up to gain higher qualifications and professional registration with the General Dental Council (GDC).

‘The dental technician apprenticeship is an exciting three-year scheme that will enable individuals to attain a level five foundation degree, Science in dental technology, and be able to apply to register with the GDC as a dental technician.

‘The level four dental practice management apprenticeship will run over 24 months, during which apprentices will learn to manage all non-clinical aspects within a specified practice or practices. I am particularly thrilled that the practice manager apprenticeship will provide a pathway to help individuals later gain a masters qualification, as this is an excellent tool to help increase the skill set of employees in this important role within the practice.’

Growing talent

Mustafa finished by saying: ‘Employers will be able to “grow their own” talent, ensuring the next generation of professionals have all the practical skills and experience needed to continue the high standards expected in dentistry. This in turn will also help combat the falling numbers of British technicians, strengthening the dental industry and UK economy.

‘I would encourage as many businesses as possible to get involved with the Trailblazer scheme, and together we can encourage growth and further success for the future of dentistry.’

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