Hi David, yes we can do something about it, it is very simple but no
one wants to do it.
A registered apprentice program is required to have an authentic
apprenticeship program in place.
A union generally accompanies an apprenticeship program and jewelers
(employers) do not want that and I can understand why, it is a big
hastle when you only have one employee, i.e. a bench jeweler and to
spend considerable time accounting to the apprenticeship standards
board. Also, our industry is not much like the other trades, in that
the big trades are hugely organized and that did take some serious
time and money.
And I do agree that it is a shame that the JA program really does
not carry the same definition, yes, it does say you can do certain
things. They are trying, I have had meetings with them and they are a
sincere group of jewelers working at this program to be evolving
further and carrying much more weight.
So how do we solve this? By developing a plan for levels of
expertise, the master jeweler as we define the European Master
Goldsmith. Taking the test is good but the criteria of having trained
others and know how to show.
Most everyone thinks the same when the word “Master Goldsmith” comes
up. It is the tried and true well studied and experienced jeweler.
So, go for it, set some standards, put it out there, JA will embrace
the support of the local comunity. I think.
It is not a reinventing the wheel, it is a matter of providing more
for the package.
Hook up! Dee