A DENTAL assistant has been named as the first recipient of a Denbighshire bursary scheme that aims to get ambitious young people to stay in the county.

Charlotte Jones, who works at Ruthin Dental Practice, has gained a qualification in oral health education through Denbighshire County Council’s Young Person Employment Bursary. The annual scheme can support 80 individuals aged 18 to 35 with education funding of between £250 and £2,000.

Ms Jones, 27, who lives in Ruthin, said she would not have completed the course without the £720 funding she received. “This is allowing me to progress in my career,” she said. “The bursary helped me access the course which has allowed me to get a better understanding of oral hygiene and to help and motivate others in better oral hygiene.

“I would not have been able to complete the course, which would have prevented me from progressing with my professional development.”

The qualification will also help Ms Jones to increase her wages.

The bursary scheme is available to young people who earn below the county median salary of £20,326 and want to pay for training courses to progress within a current workplace or gain a higher paid position with a new Denbighshire employer. It can be used for further education courses and professional skills and training.

Cllr Hugh Evans, leader of Denbighshire County Council, said the scheme could also boost the Denbighshire economy. “This innovative approach by the council aims to help young employed people develop their careers and create new opportunities for them,” he said.

“We want to encourage younger people working in the county to develop and progress their careers and earn higher salaries, which will benefit the county’s businesses by keeping hold of talented and skilled individuals.”

The bursary is part of the council’s Corporate Plan which identifies key areas for spending. It includes the 21st Century School programme, increasing the number of Welsh language speakers in Denbighshire, and providing support for parents to give their children the best start in life.

For more information or to apply, visit www.denbighshire.gov.uk/skills-bursary