In Syria she managed her own dental laboratory with six employees. Having fled her native country for Germany, she completed a skills analysis as well as refresher training, and today she is once again working in her profession.
A colourful 3D image of a set of teeth is rotating on the monitor. Right next door the relevant denture is slowly being milled out of a zircon block. On a visit to Wessal Alkhalil’s new workplace in Hamburg-Eppendorf, the Syrian shows how this latest dentistry technology functions and how the blanks are subsequently prepared. That said, just a few months ago, her life looked completely different. In the middle of 2014 the dental technician fled the war in Syria and headed to Germany. In Damascus, the 37-year-old managed her own dental laboratory with six employees. She arrived in Germany with absolutely nothing.
In August 2014 she sought recognition counselling from the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts and Trades. The first stage of her recognition procedure was a skills analysis. This was needed because she was not able to bring any documents with her when she fled Syria and, in her case, involved a practical placement week in the Hanseatic Dental Workshops. Here she showed the experts and trainers what she had learned in her occupation. Outcomes: Her training was recognised as partially equivalent. To achieve full equivalence, refresher training was arranged with Höfs & Ristau Dentaltechnik involving individual measures. For example, she had to learn how to handle tooth coloured materials. She wanted to attend a language course anyway. After five months it was done— in February 2016, the full equivalence of her training was certified.
As a recognised specialist, she immediately found a permanent position—in a dental practice in Hamburg-Eppendorf. The practice has an integrated dental laboratory, is one of the few in Hamburg to already offer 3D technology and acquired the new milling machine just a few months ago. “I was astonished when Ms Alkhalil explained in her interview that she had also introduced this technology to her dental laboratory in Damascus,” recounts Dr. Peter Weiss. “I found her to be very impressive on both a personal and professional level.”
However AlkhalilI is far from finished with the vocational recognition of her Syrian training—she's looking for more. The expert is now seeking to obtain qualification of master dental technician and from April 2017 has been attending the school for master craftspeople at the weekend. Her boss is covering the cost of this. “Everything is much better following my recognition. I am more than happy", smiles Alkhalil.
The conversation with Wessal Alkhalil took place in January 2017. She received advice and support with her recognition from the Hamburg Chamber of Crafts and Trades (HWK). The refresher training took place as part of a subproject “Refresher trainingfor dual occupations" in theIQ Network Hamburg – NOBI.