Putting a value on employability

Lee Lapthorne and Charlotte Rose

Recent Gemmology and Jewellery Studies graduates returned to BCU to host a valuers' conference that provided industry insight and networking opportunities for students.

Gemmology and Jewellery Studies graduate Charlotte Rose with Head of College Lee Lapthorne.

Gemmology and valuers’ conferences are key networking and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events that trade education organisations run annually. However, these events can be expensive, especially for our students.

Understanding the value of these industry gatherings for student employability and to ensure that as many students as possible benefit from the opportunities provided by these events, Jewellery teaching staff typically promote these events and negotiate student rates for tickets.

This month, recent Gemmology and Jewellery Studies graduates Charlotte Rose and Jonathan Solomons, who worked in the industry prior to studying at BCU, brought a valuers’ conference to the School of Jewellery, which was free of charge for students to attend.

Since graduating from BCU, Jonathan has gone on to be an Institute of Registered Valuers (IRV) Jewellery Valuer and Charlotte is now the Vice-President of London Diamond Bourse. Both have robust industry connections and organised the conference, which was open to all three year groups of Gemmology and Jewellery Studies students and Gemmology Master’s students.

At the conference, our students listened to talks and participated in workshops run by industry experts. Topics included valuing-coloured gemstones, diamond set jewellery, identifying manufacturing techniques and the importance of dialogue with clients and their solicitors.

Valuation Science is one of the modules in the degree and is a possible career pathway for our graduates. To this end, Module Leader Michelle McCormick and NAJ Head of Education Marie Garnett mapped courses and agreed on a pathway to IRV for graduates who have passed the valuations module.

Jonathan said: “It's fantastic to be able to come back as an alumni and help support the great teaching work being done in the Gemmology Department.”

Charlotte said: “The conference proved very popular, giving students the opportunity to meet with leaders of the valuation industry in an intimate setting, allowing them to benefit from hands-on interaction and their many years of experience combined. Students were engaged and inspired about the potential career paths available to them in the world of jewellery valuation.”

Student Rebecca Pelmus said: “All the presentations at the event were enlightening and enriching. It provided valuable insights into the valuation profession and its real-world applications. Each speaker kept an engaging and fun atmosphere suitable for all levels.

“My favourite talk was about post-qualification career pathways as a valuer and client scenarios.”

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