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Hi Karen, I entered an apprenticeship sixteen years ago, at the age
of sixteen, and even then found it very very difficult to get my foot
in the door, so to speak! It took n awful lot of leg work ,knocking
on every door. Eventually I found a Master goldsmith that was willing
to take me on.

Although this is not always the case ,age can sometimes be a factor,
as the usual minimum time period to fulfil an apprenticeship is
between five and seven years, lot of the more traditional workshops
prefer a person to begin in their teens. In the beginning you may
wonder when you are actually going to be let lose on the bench
properly, but eventually you progress and your many days polishing,
sizing rings and minor repairs come to fruition.

Although the tradition in apprenticeships was originally for the
apprentice to pay the master for teaching his skills, or work for
free, this is most certainly outdated, do expect to receive a salary,
or be it minimal. Having said this, please do not be put off. Where
there is a will, there is a way! Just keep knocking! It is a truly
fulfilling career.

Why not try advertising yourself in one or all of the national
jewellery magazines etc… I don’t know about the USA,but you could
always try contacting the Worshipful Company Of Goldsmiths in London,
they are on the net, just go to a UK search engine. They usually have
contact with people offering apprenticeships, and have many contacts

Good Luck in your endeavours! Christian Wardle