Foundation Programme

Are you aged 16 plus? Do you love working with your hands? Get the best skills, training and confidence to start your apprenticeship or career as a jeweller or silversmith on our Foundation Programme.

Full-time. 9 month course.

Course dates: 11 September 2023 - 5 July 2024 (with breaks for Christmas and Easter)
Application deadline: Sun 30 April 2023, 10pm
Course fee: Free. Support Grants available (see below).
Qualification: City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Jewellery Manufacturing, additional units in Employability Skills, the City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Craft Skills

Like to know more about this course? To talk to our team call 020 7566 7650 or email us at professionaltraining@goldsmiths-centre.org

Applications for Foundation Programme 2023 are now open. Scroll to the bottom of the page to join one of our upcoming Open Days and to submit your application.  

What is the Foundation Programme?

Our free, year-long Foundation Programme is unique to the UK and prepares young people* for a career in the jewellery, silversmithing and the precious metal industry. If you live in London or the South East, you will learn the core skills needed to enter an apprenticeship, including our Goldsmiths’ Company Apprenticeship Scheme, employment or further or higher education studies.

As part of a group of ten, you will be taught by expert craftspeople in fully-equipped workshops at the Goldsmiths’ Centre in London. You will develop your creativity, craft skills, build your confidence and learn traditional techniques such as fine jewellery making, silversmithing and stone setting alongside contemporary processes such as Computer Aided Design (CAD).

You could gain the City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Jewellery Manufacturing, additional units in Employability Skills and the City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Craft Skills.

Age: *The Foundation Programme is designed for 16 to 19 years olds, but the Goldsmiths' Centre has a small capacity to recruit for learners from 19 to 24.

Flip through our handy digital guide to find out all you need to know about the Foundation Programme:

What will I learn?

The course is workshop based and covers: 

  • Fine Jewellery (22% of the course)
  • Silversmithing (19% of the course) 
  • 2D Design and Drawing (12% of the course)
  • Engraving (9% of the course) 
  • Setting (8% of the course) 
  • Enamelling (8% of the course)
  • Chasing (7% of the course)
  • Computer Aided Design [CAD] (7% of the course) 
  • Personal and Professional Development (8% of the course) 

You will also get hands-on work experience with a trusted business and be able to take part in live projects and competitions. 

Do I need particular skills or experience to apply?

All applicants must meet the following application criteria:   

  • You will be able to attend the Goldsmiths’ Centre from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, during term time 
  • Ideally you will have GSC Grades 4-9/A-C in Mathematics and English
  • applications with non-standard qualifications are invited provided that you can demonstrate your abilities through sketch bookes or 2D/3D work in your portfolio
  • we recommend that you have completed work experience in a jewellery, silversmithing or allied industries related workshop

What support is available?

The Goldsmiths’ Centre’s Foundation Programme is free to attend. Grants may be made available to support any current student who is experiencing financial hardship due to unforeseen circumstances if they, or if dependent, their household, receives one or more government benefits. The grant can be used to cover any financial need necessary for your continued participation on the course. This could relate to transport costs or accommodation for example. 

Funded by the Goldsmiths’ Company Charity, our grants ensure that finance is not a barrier to applying as part of our commitment to inclusion and social mobility. Please contact us at the application stage about further information. 

How do I apply?

Applications for 2023 are now open. If you have not already done so, we strongly advise you to read our application guidelines before starting your application. You will need to complete your application in one session, and this includes uploading a portfolio of your work, CV and passport photograph.      

Application advice

We are looking for young people who are able to show us their passion for creativity, craft and being a part of this unique creative industry.

Here are some of our top tips to help make your Foundation Programme application and Assessment Day the best they can be.

Open Days

Want to meet our team and find out more about the course? We are running a free in-person Open Day on Thursday 9 March 2023.