Congratulations have been paid to Sparkle Dental Labs Ltd, as their £1million laboratory was officially opened by Chief Dental Officer, Barry Cockcroft.
The state of the art laboratory in Leeds was the vision of Managing Director, Mustafa Mohammed. Sparkle Dental Labs began life in a small premise in Huddersfield, which quickly became inadequate as the business grew. The next step for the company was a move into the new 16,000sq foot warehouse in November. The opening of the lab marks the start of a new path for the British dental lab industry, as Mustafa has also proposed the creation of 200 jobs, including apprenticeships and opportunities for young people, so they can gain new skills and qualifications in a respected profession.
It is estimated that ten years ago there were 10,000 dental technicians in the UK and now that number has plummeted to just 5,000. Mustafa hopes to turn these figures around and reinvigorate the UK dental lab industry, by offering a quality British service that overseas laboratories can’t compete with.
Elaborating on his delight at the opening of one of the UK’s largest dental laboratories, Mustafa said, “It was a fantastic day and I was so pleased to see the lab officially open for business. We don’t want young people who are good with their hands to be stacking shelves, we want to show them there is more to their future. And more importantly prove there is a future for jobs for UK youngsters. If we can give 200 young people an opportunity then we have proved it is possible.”
Provided by the National Apprenticeship Service, it is hoped that once the apprenticeship scheme has gained approval from the GDC, it will help combat the current number of dental technicians leaving the industry – currently estimated at 400 each year in the UK
Dr Keith Hayes, Clinical Director Genix Healthcare, added, “I think this is a very exciting and benchmark opportunity. The apprenticeship scheme is going to be a very valuable resource to the British dental industry. To have quality training at this level, it will benefit the whole profession. It also provides an opportunity to young people, who otherwise wouldn’t be given a chance.”
Sparkle Dental Labs is one of the few dental laboratories in the UK to receive MHRA, DAMAS and ISO quality assurance marks, ensuring dentists and their patients can have confidence in the quality of restorations produced. In addition, the lab is the first in the UK to offer a courier service to and from dental practices and because the lab is situated directly next to a FedEx depot, it means deliveries can take place 12 hours a day from 7am to 7pm.
In addition, the lab has a brand new milling centre and space in the future for an implant centre. By opening Sparkle Dental Labs Mustafa is already helping to encourage the future stability of the UK’s dental lab industry, and clearly the profession is behind him and his team.