The trade’s young dream

© Written by Rachael Taylor for Retail Jeweller 

The jewellery business has a rich history of embedding young people in the trade, from the medieval apprentices of The Goldsmiths’ Company who were quite literally tied to the benches (they had to sleep beneath them and were only released on Sundays for church) to the well-known boot-straps success stories of some of the most famous jewellers in the world. Stephen Webster, Shaun Leane, Glenn Spiro, Laurence Graff and the Queen’s personal jeweller Harry Collins all started out as teenage apprentices in Hatton Garden.

This tradition has continued, and even gathered pace in the past few years, as government levies make taking on apprentices more attractive for businesses, and jewellery and watch educational establishments expand and improve.

The British School of Watchmaking in Manchester become the first educator in Europe to offer the WOSTEP (Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program) 1,800-hour course, which welcomed its first students this January. General manager James Robinson says the one-year full-time course, which it now offers alongside its more advanced 3,000-hour two-year WOSTEP course, has been gaining a lot interest from retailers that can perhaps afford to lose a member of staff for a year, but for which a two-year absence would be “unsustainable”…


This story was originally published in the May 2018 issue of Retail Jeweller magazine. Continue reading to see magazine layouts and download full-size PDFs. (main image: The Goldsmiths’ Centre)

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DOWNLOAD: Retail Jeweller_MAY2018_CareerPaths

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