Taking on a young manager

Taking on a young manager



Technology continues to evolve bringing new challenges and opportunities to dental practices. The role of the practice manager in particular has changed considerably, and now requires candidates with increasing knowledge of IT systems[i].


Taking on younger candidates can be an ideal way to meet the changing demands of the job and usher in the sort of diversity that is required. Many companies welcome young employees, while others tend to avoid them, opting for more mature and experienced individuals[ii]. However, while there are advantages and disadvantages of recruiting from either age group, the changes dental practices are and will continue to face favours the younger generation who are more readily able to understand and apply technology into business.


Good dental practices operate on a hierarchical system with patients’ interests and the dentist at the top and other members of the team supporting them to enable the practice to run to its optimum capacity1. The manager has to help deliver the most efficient service possible and contributes significantly to the smooth running of the business. With the increase in laws and regulations in recent years, there has also been a huge rise in administrative work, which the modern day practice manager must complete in a timely manner, along with their other duties. Implementing new IT systems and advanced technology can reduce time spent on mundane tasks, allowing the manager more time to provide support and direction to the team.


Having young employees can bring in fresh perspectives, providing new ideas and solutions to enhance workflow and meet the changing demands. They are often more adaptable, have an abundance of energy and a natural thirst for knowledge, which can inspire colleagues around them and invigorate the workplace. Hiring a young person can also give practices the opportunity to have a greater influence in the kind of employee they become2.


Youngsters can provide an inexpensive way to grow the workforce, particularly when taking on an apprentice. In recent years there have been significant improvements made to the UK’s vocational education and training systems, as well as an increase in government funding for apprenticeships, especially in England[iii].


Through well-developed pathways, apprentices can learn the skills in the workforce that go beyond general employability. The schemes allow individuals to gain essential experience in the workplace by learning from real professionals and thus acquiring industry-specific knowledge. Senior staff will be able to work with the new recruit to encourage common values and good ethics from the outset, giving them a chance to truly understand the practice. Having learnt from current team members, the practice manager will be more able to deliver a high performance in line with the practice’s strategy, goals and values3.


Currently, practices can benefit from offering individuals the Apprenticeship in Dental Practice Management. Barnet and Southgate College is a lead provider of the scheme and offers intake for the programme periodically throughout the year, with the next start dates on: 4th May, 6th July and 14th September 2016 with other dates to follow. Find out more today about this exciting scheme and start building your business for tomorrow.


For more information on the Apprenticeship in Dental Practice Management, please contact Barnet and Southgate College:

0203 764 4333


twitter @barnetsouthgate

[i] Gorman, S. (2007). Vital guide to dental practice management. Vital, 4, 19-20.

[ii] Creative & Cultural Skills. Why hire a young person? Available online 20th August 2013: https://ccskills.org.uk/careers/blog/why-hire-a-young-person [Accessed 31st April 2016].

[iii] Apprenticeships that work: A guide for employers. Available online February 2012: http://www.cipd.co.uk/NR/rdonlyres/86EA8E62-F078-4B3D-9B90-4BE6562E7E6A/0/5733ApprenticeshipGUIDEWEB.pdf [Accessed 31st April 2016].


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Get involved in National Apprenticeship Week - 14th to 18th March 2016

Get involved in National Apprenticeship Week - 14th to 18th March 2016


Designed by The National Apprenticeship Service, this special week celebrates the positive impact that apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. It highlights how apprenticeships can help businesses across all sectors ‘rise to the top’ with young, enthusiastic talent and invites employers to get involved.

Apprentices follow a comprehensive work-based programme and work towards a recognised qualification that is relevant to your business. You can harness fresh new talent to your team or use the schemes to develop the skills and experience of existing employees.

In dentistry, newly approved, employer led apprenticeships are available for:


·         Dental Nurses

·         Dental Practice Managers

·         Dental Laboratory Assistants and

·         Dental Technicians


With almost 9 in 10 of every employer that takes on an apprentice reporting benefits to their business[1], there has never been a better time show your support.

The National Apprenticeship Service has set up an online tool – Pledge-o-meter for businesses to share their apprenticeship and traineeship pledges – get involved and show your commitment at:



Find out more about dental apprenticeships at one of the

on March 16th at Barnet and Southgate College -
www.barnetsouthgate.ac.uk and
on March 17th at the University of Bolton University - www.bolton.ac.uk/dentalapprentice


For additional information from the National Apprenticeship Service, please visit: www.apprenticeships.gov.uk

[1] Skills Funding Agency. Key facts about apprenticeships: available at www.gov.uk [Accessed 7th March 2016]



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Exciting new qualification in dental practice management

Exciting new qualification in dental practice management


The benefits afforded by apprenticeship schemes are clear. The Apprenticeship for Dental Practice Managers is the latest to be rolled out in dentistry and we at Dentabyte were excited to recently commence our first course with Barnet and Southgate College, London. Next year, we look forward to offering courses with the University of Bolton too.

For delegates on this scheme, there is a unique opportunity to learn the craft of dental practice management on a practical level. Mentored by highly experienced professionals during classroom-based workshops and tutor support throughout two years, they also gain invaluable experience from working in a modern practice environment. What’s more, a Level 4 ILM certificate in Management and Leadership is gained within the first 6 months, standing apprentices in excellent stead for more advanced management qualifications in the future.

From the employer’s perspective, they can develop their existing team or introduce fresh staff members, confident in the knowledge that they will learn all the skills they need to perform the role competently and efficiently. By developing the talent of tomorrow, employers are also investing in the future of their business and ensuring a highly skilled workforce to continue driving the profession forward.

Course content

The apprenticeship programme is designed specifically to equip delegates with the knowledge, skills, behaviours and practical workplace experience they need to manage a modern dental practice effectively. A wide range of topics is covered including human resources, patient care, clinical excellence, marketing, risk management, quality assurance, finance and trends within the dental industry. Key skills such as those needed for strong leadership, management and communication are emphasised in all relevant areas and frequent reflection, reviews and assessments will ensure delegates are progressing successfully. As such, apprentices will develop a meaningful understanding of how to run and manage a dental business effectively, ethically and passionately.


The government has pledged to heavily subsidise apprenticeship programmes in order to facilitate delivery. For every £1 the employer invests, the government will therefore contribute £2. The cap on this core funding is set at £6,000  – available if the employer invests £3,000 – but additional incentives are on offer as well. For example, practices with fewer than 50 members of staff who enrol an apprentice aged over 18 in our programme will pay £2,700 and this will be matched by £5,400. They are entitled to a small business rebate of£900, which is paid three months into an apprenticeship course. Upon successful completion, a further £900 is also available. Therefore, including core funding of £5,400, incentive government funding of £1,800 and the employers’ own investment of £2,700, practices have a total investment of £9,900 for each apprentice aged over 18. The net employer outlay for a successful candidate is, however, just £900.




How does it work?

Usually, apprentices are required to have attained a grade C or above in English and Maths at GSCE level, with most holding an A-Level or equivalent qualification, although previous relevant experience may also be considered.

To establish an apprenticeship programme, employers need to ensure they have the correct structure in place for delivery of the work portfolio and funding. The employer will need to organise monthly learning reviews with the apprentice.

A Lead Provider must be chosen in the first instance, such as Barnet and Southgate College, who is allocated the government funds for the course. They become responsible for managing payments to the employer and for the subcontract of programmes to Dentabyte, the educational provider who delivers the classroom based content of the course.

Get involved

Effective management is an integral aspect of the modern dental practice and this apprenticeship scheme offers exciting new opportunities for staff and employers alike. Is it time you got involved in the transformation of dental practice management?



For more information on the structure of the Apprenticeship in Dental Practice Management, please contact Barnet and Southgate College:



020 8266 4000 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


twitter @barnetsouthgate



For more information on content and assessment, please contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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