Dental Technology Centre

Case study: dental technology apprenticeships

Abby Pulham is 26 years old from Stoke Newington and training on a higher level, degree apprenticeship in dental technology
Abby Pulham, dental technology apprentice

Abby said:: “I’m studying for the higher level dental apprenticeship at Barnet and Southgate College. I left school at 16 and went to a local college and tried my hand at a number of jobs. I was a dental nurse for four years and whilst there I really wanted a change, so I started looking at other opportunities in the industry and started contacting dental labs in the area. That’s when I contacted Adam Norris for a work placement, and I was successful so started working for his dental Laboratory as an assistant trainee dental technician. My course is three years long coming in one day a week to the Southgate campus dental facility and four days a week I’ll be working in Chelmsford. The degree level apprenticeship really appealed to me as I didn’t have a formal qualification as such and didn’t go onto university after school in a conventional route, so I really wanted to get a degree under my belt. I’m enjoying my course and gaining a qualification whilst earning a wage at the same time.”

Adam Norris, dental laboratory owner

Adam Norris owns Adam Norris Dental Laboratories and employs Abby, he said: “We’re based in Chelmsford and opened in 2002. Barnet and Southgate College informed me of their new dental facility and the range of courses they would offer. It sounded fantastic, a lot of investment and thought has clearly gone into the facility and the types of courses delivered. The apprenticeship really appealed to me as I wanted one of my employees to continue working with me, but train at the same time. I’m a clinical dental technician and traditionally we train up technicians from scratch or they come to us from other commercial laboratories. We do all of our own clinical work at our organisation so we see our own patients directly, we specialise in prosthetics and also have a denture clinic, so we have private clients.

I needed a fully trained technician, which would look at the clinical aspects as well. Abby had a plan to train as a technician as well, so it was a good opportunity to sign up an apprentice. The Barnet and Southgate dental facility is really convenient for us. Often laboratory owners send their people off for training and don’t have much contact with the provider, but I want to be more hands on and see what Abby will be doing at College as part of her higher level apprenticeship. It makes me want to come back and train as everything is brand new and state-of-the-art.”