University launches Centre of Dental Sciences: higher apprenticeship course marks first development phase

Posted on Monday 30th November 2015
Bob Biggs 3

In the opening phase of plans to build ‘an outstanding dental faculty supported by dental employers’, the University of Bolton is working with industry to launch a brand new Higher Apprenticeship for Dental Technicians, a part of the Government’s education agenda.

Head of the Centre of Dental Sciences at the University of Bolton, Robert Biggs (pictured right), says he aims to provide the most advanced employment focused dental education in the United Kingdom for dental care professionals.

The first course to be launched by the centre is a Higher Apprenticeship for Dental Technicians which attracts significant financial support for employers as part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) approved trailblazer apprenticeships for dental technology.

Robert Biggs said: ‘There is new support for dental technology employers and educators.

‘Historically the dental technology sector has seemed to miss out on many Government initiatives designed to encourage employers to train and educate staff. Link this with an employer’s view that current education programmes do not develop students who are ‘fit for purpose’ then there is clearly a need for a new direction.’

The University of Bolton has a proven track record of collaborating with partners to develop exciting courses which address practical competencies. This course and future planned courses for the Centre of Dental Sciences are no exception.

The apprenticeship course is recruiting now for a March 2016 start. Students will be based at the new Queen’s Specialist Building. A full-time undergraduate degree programme, a BSc (Hons) in Dental Technology, is set to launch in 2016 as part of the centre’s second phase growth.

Higher Apprenticeship for Dental Technicians – duration of three years underpinned by a Foundation Degree in Dental Technology. This apprenticeship is designed to meet the learning outcomes of the General Dental Council (GDC) and enable successful apprentices to register as a Dental Care Professional (DCP).

Breaking funding tradition, the Higher Apprenticeship for Dental Technicians has been capped at level five; the highest possible trailblazer funding. This means that the Government will invest up to £18,000 for each higher apprentice so long as the employer invests £9,000.

Incentives Package

For employers with less than 50 members of staff a small business incentive of £2,700 is available and paid during the third month of the apprenticeship.

If staff entering into the apprenticeship scheme are age 16-18, Government will provide the employer with an incentive of £5,400.

For higher apprenticeships the University will only be able to accept applicants age 18+ due to course entry requirements. This incentive is paid so long as the apprentice is 18 years old when signed up to the programme. On successful and timely completion of the apprenticeship the Government will provide to the employer a further £2,700.


For more information about the Higher Apprenticeship for Dental Technicians please contact – Robert Biggs, Head of Dental Sciences, University of Bolton E: