Sam McMahon Selected to Represent UK Jewellery Skills in The 'Olympics of Skills' in Russia!

On Friday 8th March 2019, Goldsmiths’ Company Apprentice Sam McMahon employed at Mappin & Webb, was selected to represent the UK at The WorldSkills Finals in, Kazan, Russia in August (22 – 27). Dubbed the ‘Olympics of Skills’, he battled it out in his category to win a spot on the UK team in fine jewellery making, joining more than 30 young professionals from engineering, hospitality, professional services, construction and digital and IT.

Goldsmiths’ Company Apprentices, Sam McMahon from Mappin & Webb, George Schembri from B&M Bijoux and Robert Dean from The House of Garrard, spent three days in Nottingham demonstrating their exceptional technical skills in jewellery making. Within a temporary workshop and set against a backdrop of Aston Martins in the Business, Digital and Creative zone, the apprentices were set the task to create an Aston Martin badge to a specific design, testing their accuracy, time management and problem-solving skills. Sam McMahon proved his mettle against his fellow competitors taking first place.    

Sam McMahon, Goldsmiths' Company Apprentice at Mappin & Webb
“I am so proud to have made the UK team! It has been a long journey of hard work and commitment – from my time on the Goldsmiths’ Centre’s Foundation Programme to becoming a Goldsmiths’ Company Apprentice at Mappin & Webb – and I would like to thank everyone that has supported me through the last year and a half; my master, workmates, company, friends and of course the skills training team to get me to the WorldSkills final! I look forward to the challenge ahead.”

– Sam McMahon, Goldsmiths’ Company Apprentice at Mappin & Webb

WorldSkills, the UK’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event, is the ultimate competition for the next generation of skilled professionals - demonstrating their problem-solving skills, time management and ability to deal with the pressure of making in front of a live audience and judging panel on a world stage. The Goldsmiths’ Company has been a long-standing competition organising partner of WorldSkills and the Goldsmiths’ Company Apprenticeship Scheme is today administered by the Goldsmiths’ Centre. The event, which takes place every two years, will be shown live on TV and streamed around the World (including the UK) – and change the lives and careers of those that compete.

“Congratulations to Sam McMahon for his incredible performance at WorldSkills and the best of luck to him in Kazan! He has proven that talent, maturity and preparation are absolutely key to success and we would like to express our thanks to the Goldsmiths’ Company, a long-standing competion organising partner of WorldSkills, his Master at Mappin & Webb and our skills training team at the Goldsmiths’ Centre for their time helping him to prepare for this tough competition.”

– Peter Taylor, Director of the Goldsmiths’ Centre

Notes to editors

The Goldsmiths’ Centre is the leading charity for the professional training of goldsmiths. Founded by The Goldsmiths’ Company in 2007, it is a charitable enterprise with a specific purpose: “To advance, maintain and develop art, craft, design and artisan skills, including in particular but without limitation, those pertaining to goldsmithing”. It does this by

•    Providing managed workspace, education and training for public benefit
•    Fostering promoting and extending public interest in art, craft, design and artisan skills
•    Providing a knowledge base and community for those engaged or interested in these skills

For further information, visit 

The Goldsmiths’ Company, one of the major City Livery Companies, received its first Royal Charter in 1327. Today the purpose of the Goldsmiths' Company is to contribute to British national life by supporting its related crafts, industry and trade and through wider charitable and educational activity. The Company supports over 300 charitable causes and educational projects through its official Charity. The Company is the principal patron of UK contemporary jewellers and silversmiths, continuing to play an important role in support of the craft by funding apprenticeships, assisting with the technical training of aspiring designer-makers, and commissioning new work. For more information, visit  

WorldSkills UK is a partnership between business, education and governments, focused on changing the national conversation so that apprenticeships and technical education are seen as prestigious career routes for all young people whatever their background, and on a par with university as a route to meaningful careers. For 65 years WorldSkills UK has been a leading player in WorldSkills International, the global movement that brings 78 countries together in the biennial Skills Olympics. Skills competitions provide a form of accelerated development in which young people achieve greater technical excellence in their skill and develop transferable skills such as resilience, creative thinking, confidence and teamwork. For further information on WorldSkills UK, visit