There is plenty to smile about at Sunderland College as a new dental course is being launched to help fill a gap in the jobs market.
The announcement coincides with World Oral Health Day (20 March) as the college aims to help ease the regional skills shortage within this sector.
Working with industry specialists, the college will be delivering a vocational course in dental nursing which will combine classroom-based learning and work experience placements.
Recognised by the General Dental Council, the Diploma in Dental Nursing will allow students to register with the council, which is a pre-requisite to working as a dental care professional in the UK.
Experts from A-Line Dental Services and Ashford Orthodontics will be teaching elements of the courses alongside the college’s specialist health lecturing team, and students will also spend time gaining ‘on the job’ training in a dental surgery.
Founded in 1986, A-Line Dental Services is an award-winning full service dental laboratory operating throughout the UK.
Mark Maley, director at A-Line Dental Services, said: “We are delighted to partner with Sunderland College and to be involved in the delivery of this course. We will combine our skills, knowledge and experience to ensure the delivery of relevant and high-quality courses.”
Ashford Orthodontics runs an orthodontic laboratory in Sunderland’s city centre, creating and supplying teeth straightening appliances to more than 400 NHS and private practices across the UK.
Craig Stevens, director at Ashford Orthodontics, said: “This is great for all of us involved and especially the people of Sunderland and surrounding areas.”
The one-year Diploma in Dental Nursing will be taught from the college’s Washington Campus and begin this April, with a second intake of students this September.
Students who successfully complete the course will have a range of work options and settings open to them, including careers in general dental practices, hospitals, community dental services and universities.
The college is also running short ‘Get Ready’ dental courses for people aged 19 or over who are interested in working in the dental health profession, which will give students an insight into the industry.
Anne Isherwood, principal of Sunderland College, added: “We are always looking for new opportunities to expand our education and training provision, and we are very pleased to work with industry specialists to launch these courses.
“The dental sector is experiencing a skills shortage and as a college we believe it is vital to work with our industry partners to introduce relevant courses that support the local economy and provide our students with good job prospects.”
In addition to the dental courses, Sunderland College will soon be offering apprenticeships in dental nursing, dental laboratory technician and dental practice management roles, and is launching Continued Professional Development (CPD) training for dental health professionals.
The college is keen to work with local dentists to offer free-of-charge placements to students undertaking the dental nursing and technology courses.
For more information about the dental course, CPD training and work placement offer, click here or ring 0191 5116000.