Jewellery apprenticeships get government funding

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National Skills Academy to invest in trade with training and support.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has extended the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural to the jewellery sector, signaling a fresh raft of investment in the trade.

The National Skills Academy is promising to “build on a significant track record to further enhance and develop career opportunities for talented young people in the jewellery sector, and provide them with the skills needed for the industry to prosper in the current economic climate”.

Creative & Cultural Skills chairman Paul Latham said that the funding will allow for the creation of higher-level, industry-led apprenticeships, careers guidance, specialist education and training, as well as new professional standards for all those working in the creative sector. He added that the organisation is now seeking jewellery companies to work with it to develop the scheme.

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John Hayes MP, minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, added: “It is businesses themselves that are best-placed to identify the skills they need to drive growth. This investment is very good news for the creative industries and will help them to overcome the skills gaps that stand in the way of them meeting their full potential. The National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural has already demonstrated its success in working with over 200 employers in the theatre and music industries. I am delighted that investment will allow them to increase opportunities in the design, cultural heritage and jewellery sectors.”

The government has already partnered with a number of jewellery industry institutions prior to launching into the sector. These include The Goldsmith’s Company, Holts Academy and the British Jewellers’ Association.

Goldsmiths’ centre director Peter Taylor said: “Having supported all forms of training within the industry for at least 700 years, through our indentured Apprenticeship Scheme, we believe that the NSA offers a unique opportunity to further develop and encourage training across the sector.”

BJA chief executive Simon Rainer has similarly put his weight behind the scheme, describing the organisation as being “proud” to work with the scheme. He added: “For too long we have been looking for a training vehicle to best represent the needs of our industry. I am delighted that a structured and potentially very productive mechanism now exists for the betterment of our membership and the industry as a whole.”

The jewellery industry is estimated to employ 7,640 in the UK and contribute £197 million in GVA to the country’s economy every year.

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