Holts and BSJ pilot national apprenticeship scheme

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Jewellery retail, CAD, enamelling & setting among apprenticeships.

Holts Academy of Jewellery has launched its National Apprenticeship Programme in partnership with Birmingham School of Jewellery.

The launch comes after Holts Academy’s 18 months of work piloting its new government-recognised apprenticeships with the new National Apprenticeship Programme set to follow Holts Academy’s previously successful apprenticeship schemes in London, but making the apprenticeships available nationally, including its Jewellery Retail and Business Administration for Creative Businesses.

Other offered schemes include technical and hand skill apprenticeships in jewellery manufacture, CAD, enamelling, hand engraving, silversmithing and setting.

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Birmingham School of Jewellery will provide its premises and benches for certain training classes for apprentices in the Birmingham area and Jewellery Quarter, with Holts Academy travelling up to Birmingham to assess the level of teaching at the School of Jewellery on a regular basis.

Olivia Towey, shop manager at Grace and Co Jewellery is an early adopter of the Holts Academy Retail Apprenticeship programme. She said: "Taking on an apprentice was a great decision for the business. Having such a highly motivated, hard-working staff member has improved staff morale and productivity within the workplace."

As with all of its programs, Holts has worked closely and on the long term with the trade to develop the course content, going through various stages of consultation with companies including Weston Beamor, Marmalade Jewellery, The British Jewellers Association, Cookson Precious Metals Ltd, Gylda’s Tryst, Davril Jewells Ltd, Nicholas James, Platinum Guild International, Brown & Newirth and Professional Jeweller to ensure that they meet the challenges facing employers today.

Lee Lucas, principal of Holts Academy, said: “Our widening of the apprenticeship scheme is in response to national interest in not only the benefits of jewellery apprenticeships but also in the recognition of the positive steps the Academy has made over the past 18 months to pioneer the first government scheme in the UK.

"We are delighted that as of early April there are now, for the first time in generations, 16 young people on apprenticeships in Birmingham and almost 100 more across to the country thanks to the team here at the academy”.

Gary Speakman of Thomas Fattorini has worked with the Holts Academy’s apprenticeship scheme, taking on a young person: "The new apprentice scheme has enabled Thomas Fattorini to employ an additional apprentice, which will help us to ensure that the unique skills of the Jewellery Industry are past on to the next generation of craftsmen and craftswomen," he stated.

The scheme promises several benefits to jewellery businesses including talented candidates seeking a career, subsidised wages, no training costs, access to government grants and Holts Academy also ensures that candidates are quickly enrolled, recruited locally and complete all the admin and paperwork, thus enabling an employer’s apprentice to get started straight away.

Holts Academy of Jewellery is now asking for jewellery businesses, retailers and manufactures across the UK to contact with a view to their apprenticeship vacancies on 0800 2061467.
 

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