Foundation Programme: training programme to shape your jewellery career

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 one-year, free Foundation Programme.

Full-time. 9 month course.

Course dates: Mon 9 September 2024 - Thu 3 July 2025
Applications close: Sunday 5 May 2024, 5pm
Delivery: In person at The Goldsmiths’ Centre (EC1M 5AD, London)
Course fee: Free. Foundation Programme Support Grants available.
Qualification: City and Guilds Level 1 in Employability Skills and Level 3 Diploma in Jewellery and Silverware Manufacturing.

Like to know more? Read our Guidelines and FAQs below or just to talk to our team at one of our free Q&A sessions! All booking links can be found at the bottom of this page. Call 020 7566 7650 or email at

What is the Foundation Programme?

Our free, year-long Foundation Programme is unique to the UK and prepares young people aged 16 plus* for a career in the jewellery and silversmithing industry. If you live in London or the Southeast, you’ll 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’ll be taught by expert craftspeople in fully equipped workshops at The Goldsmiths’ Centre in London. You’ll 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).

Age: *The Foundation Programme is designed for 16- to 19-year-olds, but we've got a small capacity to recruit learners from 19 to 24.

The Goldsmiths' Centre is where my journey into silversmithing started. Before I came here, I didn't really know the difference between silversmithing, small work and jewellery. So, it's given me a better understanding of all different aspects of the trade.


The Foundation Programme is workshop based and covers:

  • Fine Jewellery
  • Silversmithing
  • 2D Design and Drawing
  • Engraving
  • Setting
  • Enamelling
  • Chasing
  • Computer Aided Design
  • Personal and Professional Development

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

The Foundation Programme will help you to develop a high standard of traditional and modern jewellery skills, preparing you to build a career in the jewellery industry. The skills you graduate with will open up the possibilities of an apprenticeship, employment in the industry or a further / higher education course.


Successful trainees will receive a City & Guilds Level 1 in Employability Skills and Level 3 Diploma in Jewellery and Silverware Manufacturing.

Enthusiasm and Patience: To be a part of the Foundation Programme, we’re looking for young people who are able to show us their passion for the craft. With the right enthusiasm, you’ll have the patience to spend hours concentrating on finishing a piece of fine jewellery or the detail on an ornamented silverwork.

A Portfolio: To apply, you need to prepare a portfolio of craft projects that you’re proud of. This portfolio should show us your personality, passion and creative flair, as well as your interest in the jewellery industry. We’ll consider work from any medium, so whether you are into drawing, sculptures, crochet or anything in between, include it in your portfolio to prove your crafting abilities to us.

Commitment: It’s worth noting that the Foundation Programme is a year-long commitment, and if you’re planning to go into an apprenticeship afterwards, that is a further four-year commitment. Make sure you consider this before applying. If you are ready to commit and work hard as part of a team, then we are ready to meet you.

Our Foundation Programme is free to attend. Funded by The Goldsmiths’ Company Charity, our Foundation Programme Support Grants are available if you have been enrolled onto the course. With a maximum grant of £1,500 (including VAT) per applicant, our grants are designed to help you to successfully participate in the training course, contributing to travel or other living costs.

The grant is conditional on your attendance on the Foundation Programme, which must be 85% or higher.


Find out more about the Foundation Programme Support Grants 

Who can apply?

We seek applicants who meet the following criteria. Please apply if you:

  • live in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or are able to relocate to London or the Southeast for the duration of the course. We are unable offer student visas to non-UK citizens as we are not a licensed student sponsor. Relocation expenses are not covered as part of our Foundation Programme Support Grants.
  • can attend The Goldsmiths’ Centre from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, during term time.
  • have GSC Grades 9-4 or above in Mathematics and English. Applications with non-standard qualifications are invited provided that you can demonstrate your abilities through sketch books or 2D/3D work in your portfolio.
As a maker, it all comes down to the foundation you set early on. I can attribute pretty much everything that I've been able to do for my career, from the beginning to this point, to what I've learnt and who I've met at The Goldsmiths' Centre.

Got more questions?

To find out more about the application process and the Foundation Programme itself, read our Application Guidelines and FAQs.