Bolton, Greater Manchester: A pioneering industrial training partnership between a dental corporate and an academic institution has been given a glowing endorsement by official inspectors in their first assessment of the year-old facility.
Genix Healthcare joined forces with the University of Bolton to launch the Centre for Dental Sciences in 2016 with the ambition of delivering the most advanced employment-focused dental education in the UK.
It is believed to be the only centre of its kind in Europe and undergraduates will be able to see the facilities for themselves at a series of open days in August.
The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) singled out the work of the new centre in its latest inspection of the university, which found that the provider continues to be good.
Her Majesty’s Inspector Suzanne Wainwright said: “In partnership with local employers and with full endorsement from the General Dental Council, you have developed a higher apprenticeship in dental technology to meet a local skills gap in this industry.”
She added: “High-quality resources support learning; for example dental technology high apprentices benefit from the latest industry-standard technology.”
Ms Wainwright said: “Managers ensure that all higher apprentices benefit from working in a variety of dental laboratories to gain expertise across a range of dental manufacturing processes, for example orthodontic appliances and different dental implants. This provides them with the skills that future employers will require.”
She added that students and higher apprentices benefit from appropriate employment in the dental industry.
Genix Healthcare and sister companies Sparkle and SB Dental laboratories are based alongside the Centre for Dental Sciences at the new £17m Queens campus in Bolton.
The close proximity allows students and higher apprentices access to the latest dental technology and skilled laboratory staff.
The family-owned group has invested more than £1m in plant and machinery to strengthen its industrial base in a vote of confidence in UK manufacturing.
Genix Healthcare has led the development of training standards for apprenticeships in the dental industry.
Mustafa Mohammed, founder and owner of the group, said: “I am passionate about training and education and helping people to realise their true potential, whatever their background.
“Our partnership with the University of Bolton is the first new industrial training centre in the UK in living memory and is believed to be the only one of its kind in Europe.
“The dental industry is facing a skills shortage and we are proud to be playing our part to produce the next generation of industry recruits.”
Robert Biggs, head of the Centre of Dental Sciences, said: “Employers in the dental technology industry have an unprecedented opportunity to develop staff and create new dental care professionals in England’s most advanced training centre for dental sciences.
“The innovation in programmes delivered by the University of Bolton combining education and commercial training is not available anywhere else in the UK.
“This partnership demonstrates our commitment to the dental industry and helps support the health of the wider population.
“We have had a successful start, passing our first-year inspection with the dental governing body and being awarded this endorsement by Ofsted.
“This highlights the quality of teaching and the inspirational team of teachers who are committed to developing the next generation of recruits to the UK’s dental technology industry.”
The Centre for Dental Sciences will be holding an open day for undergraduates on July 1. For more information, please visit www.bolton.ac.uk/Subjects/DentalCare/Home
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