23-year-old Will Lander to compete in World Skills UK competition.
An apprentice working with fine jeweller Harriet Kelsall has secured a place in the final of the World Skills UK competition and will now compete in front of 80,000 people at The Skills Show at Birmingham’s NEC from November 13 to 15.
William Lander, who is 18 months into a five year apprenticeship, gained a spot in the final of the ‘Fine Jewellery Making’ category after impressing in the first round of the competition.
Hertfordshire-based bespoke jewellery brand Harriet Kelsall has recently launched its new Apprentice Diamond Mounter role, partially funded by The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.
Managing director Harriet Kelsall, commented: “Handmaking skills are at the heart of what we do. Such a high level of expertise is needed to deliver the level of creativity our customers specifically seek us out for. They often need an idea to be conveyed in such a specific way that handmade techniques are the only way to achieve that. We have a real need to pass on authentic traditional handcrafting skills to the next generation.
"It’s a combination of tradition & modernity as we might use Computer Aided Design as a tool but the real skill lies in the hand crafting. When customers see the level of skill and amount of time going into it, it helps them really appreciate the true value of it.”
The Skills Show is the UK’s largest skills and careers event, helping to shape the next generations of craftspeople. It provides hands-on experiences designed to inspire young people to pursue further education and apprenticeships. The event attracts 80,000 visitors every year.
Harriet Kelsall was also named as one of six finalists in the IoD’s Women Changing the Business World campaign, designed to celebrate the women bringing about a shift in the UK’s business landscape. She is also an industry advisor to the Creative and Cultural Skills Organisation, and is vocal about the urgent need to equip students with tailor-made skill sets.
She commented: “While we are all for encouraging creativity, we must act now to reform how we teach jewellery design for the sake of future employment success for young people."