Business leaders discovered the city’s prime position in the jewellery trade and met some of the entrepreneurs of the future during a tour of Birmingham School of Jewellery.
The event, organised by the Institute of Directors West Midlands Women as Leaders group, included a tour of the school’s exhibition of graduating student work.
The business representatives were given an introduction to the school and then viewed the jewellery, clocks, metalwork and other items created by the students. They also visited the city’s Assay Office in nearby Moreton Street where the School of Jewellery houses its Gemmology Department.
During the tour the group met students and lecturers and heard from programme leader for Jewellery Design and Related Projects, Beaulagh Brooks, and programme leader for International Jewellery Business, Kate Thorley, who stressed the importance of the centre in the city’s creative industries landscape.
“We attract a large percentage of international students to the School of Jewellery because they recognise the quality of the courses here,” said Kate. “The school appeals to both local and international students.”
And Beaulagh told the business leaders: “We make sure that all of the students have employability skills. Whichever course they are taking, they also learn business skills to ensure they are able to enter the workplace. A lot of our students go on to become real entrepreneurs – and not always in jewellery.”
After the visit, IoD West Midlands Women as Leaders committee member Donetta Bradley said: “This event has really proved that Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is at the heart of the jewellery trade. I’m delighted to see that the industry is so well supported by such a strong education resource right here in the city.
“It’s also good to learn that the school continues to receive such strong support from local businesses.”
Fellow committee member Rachel Bowden added: “Birmingham is so good at hiding its hidden gems. This is a world-renowned centre and we should be very proud of all that it is achieving and of its students.”