THREE young women are getting their teeth into a new career thanks to an apprenticeship programme.

Natalie Brien, 22, from Durham, and 18-year-old Elizabeth Jayne Pereira, from Stanley, have just started work as apprentice dental nurses at Kingsgate Dental in Durham City.

They follow in the footsteps of Naomi Niedenthal, 19, from Chester-le-Street, who joined the practice as an apprentice last year and will become a permanent member of staff once she qualifies.

The placements have been arranged through Durham County Council’s apprenticeship programme, which helps match out-of-work young people with apprenticeship vacancies across the county.

Owner and dentist David Lamb said: “The apprenticeship programme has worked very well for us.

“Naomi has been an excellent addition to the team and we have found that having her has helped to reinforce the skills and knowledge of the existing team members as everyone works together to support the development of the apprentice.

“This year we have been able to take on two new apprentices and the other senior team members and I have found it very satisfying to help these young people take their first steps into dentistry.

“They are making great contributions to the practice in delivering high quality care and exceptional customer service to our patients.

“Like proud parents, we are now looking forward to our first apprenticeship graduation early next year."

Cllr Neil Foster, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, Durham County Council, said: "It is really pleasing that we have been able to help these apprentices launch their careers in dentistry and gain valuable hands-on work experience. We wish all three every success in their futures."

For more information about apprenticeships visit or 03000 262 009.