Three Goldsmiths' Company Apprentices Representing UK Jewellery Skills, on the Road to Russia!

Three talented Goldsmiths’ Company Apprentices, who are honing their skills as employees of Mappin & Webb, B&M Bijoux and The House of Garrard, are taking on their toughest challenge to date this week, competing to represent the UK in jewellery making at WorldSkills Kazan 2019 this summer.

Known as the ‘Skills Olympics’, the WorldSkills Competition sees the world’s leading apprentices and students battle it out to win a place on the medals table in their chosen skill. The UK is currently tenth in the WorldSkills rankings following its medal success across disciplines at last year’s WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi in 2017, where Goldsmiths’ Company Apprentice Alexander Wood from Ian Read Setting took 7th place out of 17 competitors in the skill of jewellery making. 

Sam McMahon from Mappin & Webb, George Shembri from B&M Bijoux and Robert Dean from The House of Garrard are stepping into Alexander’s shoes as they are competing for a place in the Team UK for WorldSkills Kazan 2019 after excelling in the WorldSkills UK National Competitions. All three started their careers on the prestigious, fully-funded Goldsmiths’ Centre Foundation Programme before becoming highly skilled Goldsmiths’ Company Apprentices in diamond mounting, receiving additional skills training at the Goldsmiths’ Centre during their apprenticeships.


“WorldSkills is the ultimate global competition for our Goldsmiths’ Company Apprentices, testing their dexterity and maturity as they demonstrate their outstanding skills in a temporary workshop environment; alongside over 500 young people under the age of 23 representing all types of disciplines. We wish our three competitors the very best of luck as they compete for a coveted place to represent the UK at WorldSkills Kazan 2019.”

– Peter Taylor, Director of the Goldsmiths’ Centre

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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