Barnet and Southgate College celebrates NAW

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Barnet and Southgate College celebrates National Apprenticeship Week 2018 #worksforme

Barnet and Southgate College celebrates National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) from 5-9 March with a wealth of activities. The theme this year is Apprenticeships Work; showcasing how apprenticeships work for individuals, employers, local communities and the wider economy. 

A broad array of industry areas are covered across apprenticeships at the College; everything from HR to dental technology, IT, dry-lining, plumbing, hairdressing, accountancy, mental health, and business administration.

Now in its 11th year, NAW 2018 encourages more people to choose apprenticeships as a fast-track to a great career and business growth. Apprenticeships can open doors onto a breadth of careers, including dental technology. Barnet and Southgate College’s Abby Pulham (pictured above on the right) found that to be the case.

“I’m 26 years old and 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 at the lab 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 following a conventional route, so I really wanted to get a degree under my belt. I’m enjoying my course and gaining a qualification while earning a wage at the same time.”

Adam Norris (pictured above with Abby) 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 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 technicians from scratch or they come to us from other commercial laboratories.

“We do all our own clinical work at our organisation and we see our own patients directly. We specialise in prosthetics and have a denture clinic, so we have private clients. I needed a fully trained technician who would look at the clinical aspects as well, and Abby planned to train as a technician, so it was a good opportunity to sign up an apprentice.

“The Barnet and Southgate dental facility is 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 again because everything is so brand new and state-of-the-art.”

Barnet and Southgate College Principal, David Byrne said: “Apprenticeships are at the heart of everything we do as a College, which is working closely with employers in the local community and across the region. They’re a great way for people to shape their careers; earning a wage whilst they train on the job and at the same time gain nationally recognised qualifications, which can be up to degree level.”

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