Holts managing director’s education work made him a Trailblazer.

Just who has made it into the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers and supported by gold partner Ti Sento won’t be unveiled until September 4, so until then we are looking back to the leading lights of the jewellery industry who made it into the Hot 100 2011. Today is the turn of Holts managing director Jason Holts whose work to buil Holts Academy into one of the best colleges in the country made him an Aagaard Trailblazer.

“There’s been quite a lot going on with Holts this year”, says Jason Holt, who has been busy overseeing the various facets of Holts, including Holts Academy and its thriving augmented reality initiative Holition.


This year, Jason has helped Holts Academy implement new qualifications – a vocational study into jewellery manufacture – and is proud to say that Holts Academy is the only accredited provider of this qualification in the UK.

“We’ve grown from two classrooms to a suite and can now accommodate 200 students at any one time,” he explains. “We’ve tripled our student capacity in 12 months while working with our graduates to help them into roles in the British jewellery industry.”

In fact, Jason has witnessed 76% of his and Holts Academy director Lee Lucas’s students leave Holts and find work in the industry. “We’re a platform to the next step,” he says. “We teach our students purposeful skills to be successful and employable.”

As a result, Holts Academy has been named one of the best colleges in the UK.

A second project of Jason’s has been the development of Holition, the company providing augmented reality for jewellery retailers and brands. “Holition is very special, we now have 13 people employed and are working with brands around the world,” he explains.“Often I’m the one with the mad ideas but it’s the team that makes it happen. We like stepping out of our comfort zone to explore ideas.”

Next year, Holts Academy will move into the new Goldsmiths’ Centre, taking on one of its largest spaces as an education suite. And for Jason, one thing is certain: he is keeping Holts at the forefront of its game with one foot in the present and the other taking a very big stride into the future.


This interview was taken from the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2011. This year’s list and photographs will be unveiled at an exclusive invite-only party at The Freemason’s Hall in London on September 4. To find out how you can get invitations as a sponsor email andrew.martyniuk@itp.com.