Become a Master

Wish to pass on your skills to the next generation of craftspeople? As a Master to an Apprentice, you can make a real impact and help to keep the trade alive.

Why should I become a Master?

The Goldsmiths’ Company, one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London, has been supporting young people into apprenticeships for over 700 years. As a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company and a craftsperson, you are key in supporting young people to learn first-hand about the craft in a professional workshop.

Today we work in partnership with the Goldsmiths’ Company to ensure that its proud tradition of apprenticeships dating back to its foundation in 1327 continues into the future. When an Apprentice is made Free from the Goldsmiths’ Company, this reflects their commitment to learning their skill and the quality of your training and support as their Master. 
 

The best bit is bringing on the next generation and keeping our trade alive

Master engraver Sam Marsden from Sam James Engraving talks about her career starting as an Apprentice

What support do Masters get?

As a Master, you and your Apprentice will receive the following on-going support from the Goldsmiths’ Centre. Our support includes:

  • Entrance into the Freedom of the Goldsmiths’ Company at the end of an Apprentice’s time (if successful)
  • A discipline-specific course structure ensuring all Apprentices acquire the same basic levels of skill, knowledge and experience
  • Participation for apprentices in a Day Release Programme for up to four years
  • Support in working towards a Level 4 qualification
  • Pastoral support for apprentices, Masters and Companies via the team
  • Networking opportunities for Apprentices and Masters at social events
  • Access to additional opportunities via the Goldsmiths’ Centre i.e. entry into relevant competitions, the opportunity to be involved in exhibitions and being informed of technical events and masterclasses 

There are ten places on the Goldsmiths’ Company Apprenticeship Scheme each year with applications being considered by our Selection Committee in September. For those workshops which require further support the Goldsmiths’ Company also offers five discretionary training bursaries each year. All Apprentices, who qualify for support, receive equal funding. 

Goldsmiths' Company Apprentice Robert Dean being bound to Master David Webster during a ceremony at Goldsmiths' Hall
Masterpiece by Goldsmiths' Company Apprentice Oliver Davies bound to a Master at Graff Diamonds Ltd

How can I find an Apprentice?

We aim to make the process of finding an Apprentice as easy as possible. All Apprentices must complete twelve months’ workshop experience in one of the following two ways:

Route 1

To select a young person who has successfully completed training on our Foundation Programme. Their training leads to a Level 3 Diploma in Craft Skills for the Creative Industries and a Level 2 and 3 qualifications in Jewellery Manufacturing and counts as 9 of the 12 months, which must be completed before being eligible for the Apprenticeship programme. The remaining 3 months can be completed on a trial basis within your workshop.

Route 2

You can also identify an Apprentice through your own contacts. If you choose this route the Apprentice must spend 12 months training within your workshop prior to applying for a place on the Apprenticeship Scheme by filling in the "Become a Master Application Form". All Apprentices will need to have GSCE English, Maths and ICT at grades A* - C / 4 - 9 (or equivalent) or be prepared to work towards these.

What happens next?

Once you have successfully found an Apprentice and have been accepted onto the scheme, you and your Apprentice will attend a traditional Binding Ceremony at the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Hall to sign indentures. 

Apprentices will attend Day Release training between January and July each year of their Apprenticeship. During this training Apprentices will learn a range of complementary skills, investigate materials, go on industry visits and attend qualification days. This programme helps to develop Apprentices into a functional member of our trade with a solid understanding of the various specialisms.   

In their final year, Apprentices work towards producing a masterpiece, which is presented to The Court of Wardens of the Goldsmiths’ Company at their Freedom Ceremony. If their work is of the expected quality an Apprentice will be awarded the Freedom of the Goldsmiths’ Company, and age dependent, also the City of London. In addition to this, Apprentices work towards attaining a Level 4 City & Guilds Professional Recognition Award. 

All Apprentices are required to take part in Day Release at the Goldsmiths’ Centre. The cost of this training is covered by the Goldsmiths’ Company. You are expected to enable Apprentices to attend these pre-arranged dates, which are scheduled to fit in with the industry year, in order to support them in their skills development. 

How do I apply?

You can apply for an Apprentice at any time by filling in the “Become a Master Application Form”. We also offer you the chance to meet our Foundation Programme students at our ‘Future Apprentices’ networking events at the Goldsmiths’ Centre.

Icon Become a Master Application Form 2018.doc (161.8 KB) Icon Become a Master Application Form 2018.pdf (234.1 KB)

Decisions for the year are made in September and successful applicants are bound at a ceremony in October.

If you have any questions in regards to becoming a Master or accepting a graduate from the Goldsmiths’ Centre’s Foundation Programme, call 020 7566 7650 or email professionaltraining@goldsmiths-centre.org