Benefits of employing an apprentice

a range of metal dental toolsInvesting time in an apprentice is a great way of attracting enthusiastic talent with fresh ideas whilst building on your already strong workforce. Apprenticeships are a tried and tested way to recruit new staff, retrain or up-skill existing staff. Whilst employing an apprentice, this allows you to develop and train your staff within your practice whilst minimising disruption and having maximising impact. An apprentice is a great way of of increasing loyalty as the learner has started their career with the practice and has more of a sense of duty to the employer who gave them their first start. Of course, there is also the opportunity to get a generous £1,000 government incentive too if you take on a 16-18 year old apprentice!

How we can support you with your recruitment

As part of our free service, we will place an advert on the National Apprenticeship Services Website (we can only do this if you are not already registered with another provider on there).

If you wish to advertise for yourself, you are welcome to do so. All that we request is that the applicants have access to a computer or laptop and internet from home to enable them to complete coursework. Please also see requirements for Functional Skills section which you may want to consider during your recruitment.

Whichever route you choose for advertising, we will pre vet CV’s to take away the hassle and forward any potential candidates to yourselves to make the final decision.

How much will employing an apprentice cost you?

young female dental assistant smiling in a clinic The apprenticeship for Dental Nursing is fully funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for 16-18 year olds.

For apprentices aged 22 years (from April 2024) and above the employer is required to make a contribution of £300. This amount will be invoiced during the enrolment process.

For 16-18 year olds you will be entitled to a £1000 incentive payment payable with the first instalment of £500 after 90 days of the start date of the apprenticeship then a further £500 after 365 days from the start date of theapprenticeship.

The End Point assessment is funded by the Education & Skills Funding Agency although they will not fund resits. You will be provided with Dnetrain Professionals Ltd policy which will inform you of resit costings.

Settling in Period

Once you have employed your ideal candidate, we offer an 8-12 week settling in period to ensure that you as an employer, are happy with your new employee and are confident the apprentice will complete the apprenticeship. During this time, if the potential apprentice is required to carry out Functional Skills English and Maths, they will be provided with learning material to give them a head start.

Apprentice Pay

skills infographic held up by two handsApprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:

  • aged under 19
  • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Example: An apprentice aged 21 in the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £6.40 from April 2024.

Apprentices are entitled to the national minimum wage for their age if they both are aged 19 or over have completed the first year of their apprenticeship

Example: An apprentice aged 21 who has completed the first year of their apprenticeship, is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £11.44.

Click here to find out more from the Gov UK website.

Off the Job (OTJ)

dental assistant pointing at a tooth on an xrayA large number of training providers expect apprentices to attend day release to contribute to Off the Job training. At Dentrain Professionals Ltd, we recognise that whilst trying to run a dental practice, this isn't always easy to release staff on specific days. We therefore provide our employers with the flexibilty with the Off the Job training they provide. Where day release is required to meet individual learner needs, this is discussed and arranged at a suitable time for our employers.

OTJ is a requirement for all apprenticeship standards at all levels. Apprentices must spend 6 hours per week of their contracted working hours undertaking OTJ Training.

OTJ is defined as “learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day to day working environment and leads toward the achievement of an apprenticeship.”

OTJ Training must be directly relevant to the apprentice’s programme and teach apprentices new knowledge, skills and behaviours that will help them reach competence in their occupation. Therefore, as many employers think this is solely focused on providing time for completion of coursework, this is not the case! OTJ also consists of practical training and mentoring during every day working practice!

OTJ Training was recommended by the Richard Review of Apprenticeships and Ofsted to ensure that apprentices are actively learning and working to attain the required knowledge and skills within their sector while enrolled on their placement program.

Examples of OTJ include:

  • Team meetings
  • Mentoring / Shadowing
  • 1-2-1's / apprasials
  • CPD
  • Tutorial support through teaching and learning sessions with the allocated Learner Development Officer (LDO)
  • Additional Learner Needs (ALN) support with our dedicated ALN Tutor
  • Attending networking events
  • Completion of coursework
  • Revision time

Apprenticeship delivery

At Dentrain Professionals Ltd, we have developed a personalised scheme of work that takes in to consideration the apprentices needs.

The apprenticeship consists of different components which will be taken into consideration when assessing target dates to include:

  • Level 3 apprenticeship standard detailing requirements for knowledge,skills and behaviours.
  • National Diploma in Dental Nursing (NEBDN)
  • End Point Assessment
  • Maths & English Functional Skills (if no recognised prior learning)
  • Additional learner needs (ALN) support (if any area is highlighted from assessment).

Set weekly sessions are not expected for attendance at our centre. The apprentice will be expected to attend online live teaching sessions at a pre arranged time that does not inhibit the every day running of the practice. These sessions will take place at the beginning of each topic being taught (usually every two - three weeks for 1 - 2 hours).

The apprentice will be provided with an online portfolio (Pebblepad) and will be provided with a number of online resources to include a module of learning, a PowerPoint tutorial and additional reading resources for extended reading. Once learning has taken place this will be followed up by form of assessment.

The apprentice will gain practical skills supported by shadowing and mentoring in the practice which will be observed by the allocated witness in Practice who will then sign off Witness testimonies on the online portfolio throughout the duration of the apprenticeship.

Other methods of assessment may include role play / scenario, simulated activities and professional discussions.

Functional Skills

Apprentices are required to complete English and/or Maths Level 2 Functional skills if they do not have recognised prior learning in these areas.

If English and/or Maths Functional skills is required, the target dates will reflect this additional time required.

Functional skills is delivered along side the Dental Nurse knowledge, skills and behaviours. The apprentice will be provided with an online learning platform as well as having a specialised Tutor for support. The apprentice will be expected to attend online support sessions with their Tutor on a minimum of a monthly basis, dependant on their needs. This time will be pre arranged at a suitable time.

A typical target date for completion of the Functional Skills qualifications is 8 months, however this may change dependent on learner needs.

Additional learner needs (ALN)

An apprentice will carry out an assessment to assess any additional learner needs. If any area of needs are highlighted during this assessment a dedicated Tutor will be allocated to support these needs.

The target dates and scheme of work / delivery plan will be adapted to meet these needs to allow additional time. The apprentice will be expected to complete 4 short online tasks per month and attend a 30 minute support session every month on a Monday or a Friday at a pre-agreed time which is flexible with their dedicated ALN tutor. The employer will be informed if ALN has been identified.

Progress Reviews

man writing a testimonial on paper, 5 gold stars at the bottomProgress reviews are a mandatory requirement as set out in the ESFA funding rules and employers are expected to attend.

Arrangements will be made with the employer and apprentice to carry out a review process where discussions will take place relating to learner progress and reflecting on the PDP, the PDP will support SMART targets being set for both the apprentice and the employer. All targets being set will be a result of a reflection of the apprentice's progress to date.

Reviews will take place every 8-11 weeks dependent on the personalised scheme of work / delivery plan which will be assessed prior to sign up.

The employer is expected to be present during the first half of the review whilst development of the apprentice's knowledge, skills and behaviours are being discussed.

During this review with the apprentice, a discussion will be held covering hot topics relating to Equality & Diversity, Safeguarding, Prevent, Radicalisation and extremism, and Fundamental British values.

Finally, career education information advice and guidance (CEIAG) will be provided with reflection on learning throughout the apprenticeship and how this can help support future career development.

End Point Assessment (EPA)

Prior to gateway following completion of the portfolio of evidence:

  • Multiple choice knowledge test (examination): This will take place online and is remotely invigilated by the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses (NEBDN). The knowledge test consists of 60 multiple choice (MCQ) questions and 10 extended matching questions (EMQ) totaling 40 marks.

The EPA consists of:

  • An Online Structured Clinical Assessment: This will include visiting 11 practical activity stations whilst having reading and preparation time.

Throughout the duration of the apprenticeship, the learner will be provided with support and guidance to help prepare for the EPA. Further preparation will be provided through mock exams and attendence to revision sessions and mock Structured Clinical Assessments.

How long does the apprenticeship take?

hand holding up red model man next to three white model men

The apprenticeship programme varies dependent on the apprentice's needs although, these target dates for completion will be set between 15-24 months for example:

Example 1: An apprentice who has previous experience in customer care and is not required to complete Functional Skills, will be targeted at 15 months for completion.

Example 2: An apprentice who has additional learner needs (ALN) will be targeted for completion of the apprenticeship within 24 months.

Every apprentice is treated as an individual and you will be updated on progress with continuous communication from our dedicated Learner Development Officers (LDO's).

Employer Responsibilities

  • To provide mentoring, support and training, which will allow the learner to develop the knowledge, skills, behaviours and competence necessary to achieve the apprenticeship standard
  • Ensure that OTJ training is provided in line with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funding rules.
  • Assign a mentor solely to the apprentice who will be involved in the learner’s progress reviews reflecting on the apprentices progress towards the apprenticeship standard and reflecting on the apprentices PDP.
  • Allow qualified members of the team to sign off competency for practical skills whilst providing feedback on the online portfolio.
  • Allow Dentrain Professionals Ltd support staff to spend time with the apprentice to provide online sessions for coaching, teaching sessions, assessments and assessment planning.
  • Where required to allow the apprentice to attend additional support sessions to meet their needs at Dentrain Professionals Ltd Centre.
  • To allow time for examinations to take place on specified available dates.
  • To allow time for the EPA clinical assessment to take place in a surgery with no patient so access is available to instruments, materials and equipment.
  • The employer must pay the apprentice wage during the off the job training.
  • The employer must seek to resolve any complaints brought forward by the apprentice / provider and comply with policies provided via email.
  • To ensure the learner is provided with a safe and healthy working environment which adheres to GDC and CQC requirements.