In this trade I would support any serious attempt to organize a guild-like certifying body - whose duties to members include skills training and other defined benefits re working conditions etc.
You have said more than a mouthful here. I am wondering about the
Bench Certification that is offered (AGS program?) It costs a bunch
to be certified, and previous threads reveal some mixed results as
to whether it has been of great benefit to those who have undertaken
the process. Mostly, it seemed like a good marketing tool for a
retailer who can say that they offer “certified jewelers”, instead
of the monkeys who work for the competition. It might be a starting
point, though, if jewelers who were certified could demand certain
minimum salary levels, etc. Perhaps certification costs could be
picked up by the state unemployment services, or offered by the
employer as an incentive, like offering GIA training to sales staff.
Melissa Veres, engraver and goldsmith