Academy leader leaves role for position with Fashion Retail Academy.
Holts Academy principal Lee Lucas last night announced that he is set to leave the organisation to take on a principal role with the Fashion Retail Academy.
Lucas made the announcement at last night’s Holts Academy Awards at Gibson Hall in London, addressing a crowd of several hundred students, alumni, jewellery firms and retailers.
He spoke of his past seven-and-a-half years with the Academy and the goals and growth that has been achieved under his tenure, including the work to introduce better apprenticeship standards for the jewellery industry, and HNC, HND and BA degree courses.
Lucas, a former Professional Jeweller Hot 100 Business Big Shot, told Professional Jeweller that he is set to become the principal of the Fashion Retail Academy, founded by Topshop, BHS and Dorothy Perkins owner Sir Phillip Green.
He said: "Rest assured that Holts Academy is going from strength to strength and will be further enhanced by a number of key new appointments. I want to thank everyone for all of their support over the past seven-and-a-half years. It has meant a lot to me personally and of course to the Academy."
In recent months, Lucas has been instrumental in promoting apprenticeships to the wider industry, with special events in Birmingham and a number of projects with UK manufacturers to give Holts students a taste of designing for industry.
Speaking to Professional Jeweller following the inaugural Holts Academy Awards in 2013, Lucas said: “The Academy is no longer the same company as when I joined in either scale or scope; we have grown from six student benches to more than 300 students daily, and from three staff to more than 40 in six years.
"I think people hadn’t realised just how far we have come and how much we had grown in the past few years. The [2013 awards] really helped to show people who we are.”
It is understood that Jon East take over the role of interim principal until Holts announce a new chief executive in the coming weeks.