Retailer teams with Sussex Downs College in hunt for fresh blood.

Eastbourne and Lewes retailer W.E Clark & Son has joined forces with Sussex Down College to appoint a new apprentice.

The family-run jeweller has worked with apprenticeship recruitment service SDC Recruit, appointing Katie Hughes at its Lewes store.


SDC Recruit and W.E Clark created a special progression program for the role, which lead to the successful pairing of Hughes with the retailer. She will be offered a generous ‘working wage’ as opposed to the current minimum wage for apprentices of £2.68 ph.

Katie Hughes was shortlisted with nine others via a phone interview before being interviewed by W.E Clark managing director David Clark. He found Hughes has "key transferrable skills" that she had already developed within her customer service background.

Clark said of her appointment: “Katie hasn’t had jewellery experience and it’s refreshing to find someone who is so keen to learn. She’s taken everything on board and her recall is excellent.”

Hughes will learn about jewellery repairs and sales as part of her induction, before she studies for the two National Association of Goldsmiths’ Jewellery Education and Training (JET) courses and its Retail Jewellers Diploma.

Hughes said: “I am extremely pleased to be offered the apprenticeship and really look forward to learning new things and progressing within this industry.”

The retailer is now seeking to take on a second apprentice, this time at its Eastbourne store.