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The charity and the trust have helped many individuals realise their potential. Find out more about their experiences below. 

Sophie Brough – Professional Jewellers’ Diploma (2017)

After completing my JET 1 and wining the Bransom award for April 2016 I was approached by the NAJ to find out if I was going to participate in completing the JET 2 course.  I approached my employer to see if he would sponsor me on this occasion, which he done previously with the first course.  Unfortunately he declined, and due to me financially unable to pay for the whole course myself, I knew I wouldn't be able to take this opportunity to further my career at that moment of time.  I explained this to the NAJ and they recommended me to apply to the Trustees for the Centenary Scholarship, which would give me half the fees. I applied to the Trustees via a letter and was awarded the Scholarship.  

I started my JET 2 in September 2016 and completed the course in May 2017 achieving A* Distinction.  The course was challenging, rewarding, and I acquired extensive knowledge about gemstones and hallmarks. I was given books to help with my studying and research of each assignment with excellent online resources which the NAJ supplied. I would say, you have to be aware of your timeline for each assignment submitting it by the deadline. I personally enjoyed this way of working, allowing me to collate detailed research to produce a thorough piece of work. This was my determination to learn as much as I could about the Jewellery trade. In return, it gave me the idea to start a stretch bracelet collection using gemstones and crystals along with sterling silver charms. These are handcrafted in my studio in Kent. Without having gained the knowledge I learned from my JET diploma, I would not know the extent information about gemstones and their qualities which I use to apply to design and create my bracelets. 

I would highly recommend taking the JET course, if you want to further your career in the Jewellery trade. Not only do you learn about the history of jewellery but the ability to design and sell which are all qualities that you need to progress, and I feel by taking the course, I have acquired these abilities to have my own business. 

I would like to take this opportunity in thanking the Trustees for investing in my education and career and would recommend anyone that is in a financial position like I was, to apply. I also want to thank my amazing tutors for the support and feedback I received, making me feel positive and enthusiastic about my results”.

Tanyol Medi – GEM-A FGA Foundation (2017)

Thank you very much for granting me the bursary to take my Gem-A FGA foundation course which started in September 2017. I was so excited to begin the course and increase my knowledge further and up the levels for my career as a professional retail jeweller after already achieving my NAJ JET 1, NAJ JET 2, GEM-A DGA Diamond Diploma. This is my sixth year in the jewellery industry and having just turned 26 I am thoroughly enjoying it and it is my absolute passion. I am loving every minute of the course I am currently on, learning all about coloured gemstones, an area I was less knowledgeable on in comparison to diamonds and watches which I specialise in.

I look forwards to showing you the fruits of my labour when I pass this FGA Foundation and show that hard work pays off, hopefully on my way to becoming a manager of a branch at Gold Arts Sussex LTD who I work for, and one day owning my own jewellers, that is the goal and dream. With your kind help with funding which I wouldn't be able to do on my own, I am maximising my potential and ability and I am on my way to becoming a great success. I can't thank you enough for the funding I received, so a massive thank you to each one of you for placing your money and trust in myself. I will always do my best to continue to show you I will continue to be and become a shining star for the industry to be proud of and make others follow suit with the hard work that's put in and that high levels and success can be achieved”.

John Whetton – Professional Jewellers’ Certificate 2017

“For me the biggest plus about doing the course was the fact that it is distance learning based and I could work on / through the course at my leisure, just because it is distance learning didn't mean that I was on my own, I was fully supported by my assigned tutor throughout my course who was there to support me every step of the way. The course covers a wide range of aspects of the industry, I found the gemstones section particularly valuable as this has provided me a lot of knowledge / information that I previously didn't know, having this knowledge will enable me to better support my customers and help them make the right choices. I also found the metals section very beneficial as I learnt all about each of the precious metals and their individual characteristics which again in-turn will help me to help my customers.

Overall the course provides a great foundation of knowledge to start building upon and would have no hesitation in recommending the course to anyone who would like to get involved in the industry. The supplied course materials are also very useful, not only for the course itself but as an ongoing reference / source of information.

I would personally like to express my gratitude to yourself and to the trustees for providing me with financial support which enabled me to do the course in the first place.

The knowledge I have gained from the course has proved crucial to me and to the development of my business. I will be looking to progress on to the Diploma in the very near future.

Although I am still in the very early stages of my learning, development and my jewellery business I have no doubt that your courses will help to get me where I need to go”.

Nicky, Gemmeus – GEM-A course

“I am progressing steadily through the course. In the first on line timed assessment (under exam conditions) I managed to achieve 91%.  This part does count towards my results.

I am about to be starting on the revision section for the next timed assessment for block 2 and hope to do just as well. - There is a great deal to understand in this section compared to the first, but I have two weeks to consolidate my knowledge.

Next week I am attending Gem-A at Ely place for the Practical endorsement and I am very much looking forward to going particularly as I get to see gems in much more detail with the use of the microscope. (which I don't have at home) 

I am very much enjoying the course, and learning so much, but I am sure you would appreciate that the exam parts do increase the stress levels a bit, I am rather out of practice in the way of exam techniques and understanding the way questions in the exams are asked but the finals are in June so I will be studying hard with the past papers. 

I am learning to appreciate gemstones more and what makes them what they are.

As a designer maker I have lots of gemstones and using the equipment I have makes it more interesting, it’s a whole new world. 

I simply wouldn't have been able to expand my technical knowledge without the NAJ Trust assistance to do this course. I do hope to be able to progress next year to begin the full diploma”.

Kay Murphy – Certificate of Appraisal Theory (2017)

“It’s been a life changing experience and made me more driven and, excited in my career. 

I’ve started a new job at Milton’s and I have the chance to work some days with a registered valuer so, along with the CAT course I feel excited!

The CAT course is really in depth and I’m enjoying it- my tutor has been so helpful and supportive. I can’t thank the trustees enough for helping me start this course because without them I wouldn’t have been able to afford it and continue with my passion. I’m already revising for the exam in October. Thanks for everything- I really appreciate it”.

Michelle Knust – Certificate of Appraisal Theory (2013)

Firstly, I would like to say that I am so very grateful to have been awarded a bursary for the cost of half of the course. 

My employer was not in a position to be able to contribute any funding and I would not have been able to afford to pay for it myself. As it is the remaining half was done on my credit cards and I am still chipping away at paying it off!

I had heard of the Centenary Trust but did not think that someone of my age would be considered.... but a few colleagues pointed me in the right direction and I applied.

To be accepted was a wonderful feeling.

The course was very informative, even after over 38 years in the trade you never stop learning. The exam was in January and I received the results this evening...... Hurrah! I passed!

Thank you so very much for giving me this opportunity it has greatly improved my knowledge and, as a result my confidence. 

I would encourage anyone wanting to improve their knowledge to apply.... you may be chosen and who knows where the extra knowledge will take you”.



© 2017
The National Association of Jewellers
Head Office: Federation House
10 Vyse Street
Birmingham, B18 6LT, UK

London Office: 45 Britton Street, London EC1M 5NA

Birmingham Office: 0121 237 1110
London Office: 020 7613 4445
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