Students cut teeth at TAFE

TAFE Western is offering people a chance to break into the dental industry without a university degree and without prior work experience. 

TAFE is offering a Certificate III in dental assisting to meet the demand for trained dental assistants in the central west. 

Head teacher Fiona Ostini said she hoped the 12-month course would start in two weeks with at least 12 students.

“We’re still looking for enrolments because I think people haven’t really been made aware of it yet,” she said.

To get a qualification in dental assisting people are traditionally offered traineeships, but that means they must already be employed. 

This course is a gateway for people to get into the industry with no experience.

The program is in partnership with Charles Sturt University, NSW Health and the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service.

TAFE Western also hopes to launch a Aboriginal-focused component of the course in July to address the gap in oral health in indigenous communities. 

After completion of the course students will be qualified to work in private practice rooms as well as hospitals. 

“It’s certainly an area where there is a need for people to be trained locally,” Mrs Ostini said.

“Usually people have to go somewhere or do the course by distance.”

The first class is due to start on February 5 and will be run on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

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