School of Jewellery student wins Silver in UK finals for the World Skills Competition

Andrew Cowley
School of Jewellery

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School of Jewellery second year student, Andrew Cowley, won a Silver medal for his work (pictured) at the UK finals for the World Skills Competition held in the NEC, Birmingham. Andrew, whose area of interest is in fine and traditional jewellery, is currently studying HND in Jewellery and Silversmithing.

The World Skills competition is run annually and covers over 50 skill areas in construction, engineering, creative and hospitality. In total, there were 600 competitors across the entire UK World Skills competition.

“Andrew was pitted against competitors from the rest of the UK, some of them final-year apprentices, in a competition which tested their jewellery-making skills and accuracy.” Says Programme Co-Leader, Dauvit Alexander.  

The competition comprised of three sections. All participants were given required measurements and a design to produce. All three sections were timed; once the time was up the participants handed in their finished works. For the first two sections, the participants produced components of the design, which were evaluated and returned for assembly on the final day for judging.

Key industry contacts were also present at the competition. Andrew said:

Andrew got involved after seeing an email about the competition: “A friend from back home entered the competition last year and came second, so when I got the email I already knew about the competition and wanted to get involved.”

The competition set up heats in June, which took place in the School of Jewellery, to decide finalists. Only eight people were allowed in the final. The competition ran over the summer, with the final held in November 2016.

When looking back on the competition and what he took away with him, Andrew said learning how to cut back coals was a skill which he wouldn’t have learnt until his second year. This meant he was already ahead of his other classmates when entering in to his second academic year.

During the competition, Andrew could meet other young jewellers who are based in London. With Birmingham and London being the two biggest places for jewellery in the UK, it was a brilliant opportunity to cover London as well as Birmingham in terms of contacts.

Before coming to School of Jewellery, Andrew took an apprenticeship within at Daisy Chain Jewellers in Hemel Hempstead. Andrew believed his background and the skills he learnt at Birmingham City University, helped him progress in the competition.

Learn more about the World Skills Competition.

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