Goldsmiths prove they’ve got skills at world show


YOUNG Goldsmiths shone at the recent World Skills Show in Birmingham to prove they have a Midas Touch worthy of their livery.

Almost 500 young apprentices, exponents of 55 disciplines as diverse as aircraft maintenance, 3D game design, cabinet making, plumbing, beauty therapy, and cyber security, took part in the national finals, with three Goldsmiths representatives topping the medals table in the fine jewellery making category.

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The three-day showcase took place at the second city’s National Exhibition Centre between 16 and 18 November, and brought together the UK’s most talented young tradespeople and the next generation of skilled professionals.

Goldsmiths’ apprenticeship scheme’s Samuel McMahon, based out of Mappin and Webb, won a gold medal, while Luke Blackie (Mandos Jewellery of London) took home silver.

Robert Dean, of Garrard & Co, was awarded bronze to complete the hat-trick after turning a 2D jewellery design into a wearable 3D piece in just 15 hours.

But it wasn’t just three days of hard graft and meticulous attention to detail that earned the winners their accolades.

In order to reach the finals, entrants had to attend gruelling open selection events in London and Birmingham earlier this year. At this month’s show finalists were then tested in a temporary workshop environment, and were scored on their jewellery making ability to saw a piece out, solder, make to specific dimensions, surface finish, and complete on time.

Dr Neil Bentley, CEO of WorldSkills UK, hailed all those that made the grade, as well as those who fell at the final hurdle.

“This has been a wonderful showcase for UK skills,” he said. “The competition was fierce and the standards very high – all the finalists have done brilliantly well just to get this far.

“All their hard work and dedication has been rewarded and we at WorldSkills UK salute you.”

A spokesperson for the Goldsmiths explained that the company has been a long-standing sponsor of WorldSkills, and that members are delighted to see the apprenticeship scheme, administered by the Goldsmiths’ Centre, producing such a fine calibre of student.

“The apprentices’ collective win at The Skills Show is a significant achievement and a true reflection of the considerable skills gained during their apprenticeship training at the bench of their respective masters.”