Following on from similar successful Holts Academy apprenticeship schemes in London, the initiative aims to make apprenticeships in jewellery retail; business administration; manufacturing; enamelling; hand engraving; silversmithing; and setting available nationwide.
Shop manager of Grace and Co Jewellery Olivia Towey, who quickly picked up on the Holts Academy Retail Apprenticeship programme, said: “Taking on an apprentice was a great decision for the business. Having such a highly motivated, hard-working staff member has improved staff morale and productivity within the workplace.”
Numerous companies were contacted for consultation during the development of the programme by Holts Academy to ensure that it meets the challenges facing employers.
Thomas Fattorini’s Gary Speakman said of his experience with Holts Academy’s apprenticeship scheme: “The new apprentice scheme has enabled Thomas Fattorini to employ an additional apprentice, which will help us to ensure that the unique skills of the jewellery industry are passed on to the next generation of craftsmen and craftswomen.”
Jewellery businesses partaking in the scheme will benefit in several ways, with Holts Academy offering to recruit talented candidates locally and complete all of the administration and paperwork needed. Additionally, there are no training costs and wages are subsidised.
Production director of Gladman & Norman Ltd Mark Newitt praised the new initiative: “Having earlier tried to recruit apprentices direct and having little success, we were delighted to be approached by Holts Academy to work on the scheme to bring apprentices back into the Jewellery Quarter trades. The process has enabled us to find suitable candidates who we hope will remain and grow with the company, and the assistance provided by the city council in funding these apprenticeships will breathe new life into what was becoming a dying trade. We are proud of Birmingham’s heritage in the jewellery quarter and are determined to see it revive and flourish.”
Alison Bull, a current level 3 apprentice, said: “Through focusing on my role I have learned how to prioritise my workload and gain new skills. The apprenticeship has helped me evaluate and improve my skill-set and gain a high level of confidence.”
Holts Academy principal Lee Lucas remarked: “Our widening of the apprenticeship scheme is in response to national interest in not only the benefits of jewellery apprenticeships but also in the recognition of the positive steps the Academy has made over the past 18 months to pioneer the first government scheme in the UK. We are delighted that as of early April there are now, for the first time in generations, 16 young people on apprenticeships in Birmingham and almost 100 more across to the country thanks to the team here at the Academy.”
Jewellery businesses across the country are asked to contact Holts Academy with their apprenticeship vacancies on 0800 206 1467 or email@example.com
To download the employer’s pack visit www.holtsacademy.com/Guide-to-Apprenticeships