Scottish Dental Graduates Forced To Look Abroad For Training Places

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Scottish dental graduates could be forced to accept jobs abroad due to a shortage of training places, it has been revealed.

Representatives from the British Dental Association have suggested that dozens of students could leave Scotland for jobs overseas if a shortage in training jobs is not solved in the coming months.

The BDA has warned that more than a third of students who are due to graduate this summer could fail to land a training place in Scotland. The completion of vocational NHS foundation training is obligatory for all those wishing to work in the NHS in the future and there are concerns that without these places, students could head for jobs in Australia and New Zealand.

More than forty graduates were left without training places last year and the BDA fears that this number could be even higher this year, when students from Scotland’s three dental schools graduate in June.

It is traditional for graduates to complete their foundation training at dental practices; however, last year’s shortage of available places meant that several took placements in hospitals and community dental centres.

The Scottish Government has announced an increase in funding for trainers and it is hoped that this will encourage more practices to accept graduates; however, the demand for places is still likely to outweigh the supply and with the application deadline of March looming, many graduates will be worrying about their future.

The BDA is also concerned that some of the existing training practices could pull out of the scheme due to changes in the system, which affect pensions. Scottish director of the BDA, Pat Kilpatrick, said that the changes have got trainers worried, as the gross income of the trainee dentists affects the pension pot.

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