Apprentice to Harvey Sillis FIPG, Ben Pritchard, will represent the UK in the final of the WorldSkills competition in Brazil in August.
Sillis, who is a fellow of the Institute of Professional Goldsmiths, first met Pritchard in May 2009 on a work experience placement (pictured above). He was then offered the chance to be a full time apprentice in 2010, completing a ceremony at Goldsmiths’ Hall to become an official apprentice for five years.
Sillis explains: “As a 16 year old, straight from school, Ben was very quiet but was willing to learn and had great enthusiasm. It was soon evident that Ben had a flair for hand/eye co-ordination and this possibly comes from his father, William, who is an artist and attended the Royal College of Art. He quickly settled into workshop life and his friendly and happy character together with his ability to be very patient when working on the complicated pieces he creates has resulted in him reaching the standard of skill required in this profession.”
Pritchard has taken part in various WorldSkills UK Skills competitions – part of the Find a Future programme. This scheme aims to bring together the nation’s flagship skills, with career experiences to help young people choose the role that’s right for them.
Competitors who excel in WorldSkills UK competitions are invited to compete for a place in the team that represents the UK at WorldSkills, the biennial international skills competition. Pritchard is now part of this talented UK team and will be travelling to Brazil to compete for his country.
Pritchard has also won numerous awards at the Goldsmtihs’ Craft & Design Council Awards including three in 2015, all for his diamond mounting skills.