L R Gemma McIntyre Christina McKelvie MSP Danielle Key


Politician visits trainees at L&H Dentalcare during Scottish Apprenticeship Week

CHRISTINA McKelvie MSP has made an impression with Dental Nursing Modern Apprentices at a practice in Hamilton.

The MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse visited L&H Dentalcare to meet trainees who combine their work with tuition from New College Lanarkshire.

The visit coincided with Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which runs until March 10 and shines a spotlight on the benefits that apprenticeships bring to individuals, businesses and the economy.

Ms McKelvie met two Modern Apprentices, Danielle Key and Gemma McIntyre, and spoke with two of New College Lanarkshire’s Dental Nursing Workbase Assessors, Karen Lipp and Shona Haddow.

Ms McKelvie said: “It’s always really interesting for me to see the work that’s going on in my constituency for the apprenticeship programme.

“When you see the dedication and commitment of the young people who have secured employment or training here, and you see how that benefits the business as well, it’s just superb.

“It was great to meet the apprentices and hear their side of their story. The real successes here are the young people getting opportunities, making the best of those opportunities, and having a career path.

“This career path, especially for young women, will lift them into a much higher qualification framework and open up opportunities for more highly-paid employment.”

She was taken on a tour of the four-storey practice on Cadzow Street by Practice Administrator Sharon Kearney, who has worked for the business for 19 years after starting out as a Dental Nurse.

Practice Administrator Sharon Kearney said: “For us, we wouldn’t have the team that we do without working with New College Lanarkshire. Every nurse in here has come from our relationship with the College.

“Apprentices receive great training through the College and that just gets enhanced when they are working here.”

The practice, which employs 29 staff, has worked with New College Lanarkshire and its legacy institution Coatbridge College for seven years to offer work placements and apprenticeships.

Danielle Key, 18, from Ashgill, near Larkhall, was a student of HNC Dental Nursing at the College’s Coatbridge Campus who was offered an apprenticeship only a few days into a work placement at L&H Dentalcare.

Danielle said: “It’s been brilliant so far and it’s probably the best decision I’ve made. I realised how good a place this was to work, I’m still getting the qualification and I’m working at the same time.

“The people I work with are so nice and I can use the facilities at the College and speak to staff when I need support.”

Gemma McIntyre, 18, from Scotstoun in Glasgow’s West End, started her Modern Apprenticeship with the company in October and hopes to complete her studies by December.

Gemma said: “I’ve loved it – it’s the best opportunity I’ve had and in such a good practice.

“You’re in the working environment and you’re studying at the same time – and, of course, you’re getting paid"