There’s no better place to learn your craft as a jeweller, silversmith or allied trade specialist than at the bench in a real workshop, where you can hone your skills and work towards qualifications under the guidance of a Master, or as a Goldsmiths’ Company Apprentice.
What is the Scheme?
The Goldsmiths’ Company has been supporting young people into apprenticeships since its foundation in the 14th century. Today The Goldsmiths’ Company Apprenticeship Scheme, which is managed by the Goldsmiths’ Centre and funded by the Goldsmiths’ Company, is open to young people aged 16 to 24, in London and the South East. You will be given the chance to start your career working with precious metals within the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office in London or the wider membership of the Goldsmiths’ Company.
What does an apprenticeship involve?
As a successful applicant, you will be employed directly by the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office or a Master. They will pay you a salary and give you a contract of employment. During your apprenticeship you will work alongside your Master in their workshop for up to five years, depending on your specialism, and receive practical day or block release training via the Goldsmiths’ Centre.
Throughout your apprenticeship you will gain and develop vocational skills and in your final year you will be asked to produce a masterpiece, which showcases what you have learnt. In addition to your practical work, you may be able to qualify with a City & Guild’s Professional Recognition Award (Level 4 equivalent).
The UK jewellery industry employs over 55,000 people and there are over 16,000 jewellery industry related businesses in the UK. Having completed your apprenticeship, you could work for a big international jewellery brand; a small independent jewellers; go into self-employment or anywhere in-between.
Masters also give their apprentices a huge amount of commitment, support and training, during their time together and it is quite normal for apprentices to become permanent employees in their Master’s workshop.
Previous apprentices have gone on to take part and win challenging competitions, such as the Goldsmiths’ Company Craft and Design Awards and World Skills events. These exciting competitions will help you to hone your technical skills, develop high levels of determination composure under time pressure.
The Goldsmiths’ Company is extremely proud of its history and its historical traditions of Apprentice Binding and Freedom Ceremonies. The first volume of the Goldsmiths’ Company Apprenticeship began in 1578 and today apprentices sign volume twelve of the records when they become bound to their Masters at the start of their apprenticeship. When you complete your apprenticeship, you will be given the Freedom of the Goldsmiths’ Company, an honour dating back to the 17th century.
How to apply?
Applications are formally reviewed ever July, although can apply to be an apprentice at any time. Priority is given to applicants who have completed the Foundation Programme at the Goldsmiths’ Centre.
Want to make an impact and support the next generation?
If you’re an experienced jeweller, silversmith or other trade specialist and would like to pass on your skills, then apply to become a Master on the Goldsmiths’ Company Apprenticeship Scheme. You must be a Freeman or Liveryman of the Goldsmiths’ Company to take an apprentice, be prepared to employ the apprentice and full engage with the Scheme.
To apply download the Goldsmiths’ Company Masters and Apprentice Application Form and to watch more videos about becoming an apprentice or master visit our youtube channel.