Run by the NAJ (The National Association of Jewellers) the JET2 programme (Jewellery Education and Training) is an internationally recognised qualification that helps participants to achieve their potential in the jewellery industry.
Alison Harris, from our Bespoke Design Team had set the bar high when she completed her JET1 coursework and was awarded the highly-coveted Bransom Award. The talented designer didn’t stop there though and she completed the JET2 course receiving an A grade with distinction, an amazing result that’s rarely achieved by candidates – congratulations Alison!
Let’s find out a bit more about what the JET2 qualification means to Alison…
Tell us a little about the JET courses, the aim and what they involve?
The JET courses are a professional development programme that are a high accolade to hold within the jewellery industry. Through the teaching and assessments we can apply the practical knowledge that we’ve learnt to our day-to-day role on the shop floor. The courses provide us with a great jewellery knowledge that I know has given me more confidence and a higher degree of professionalism within my role at Laings.
The JET2 course involves several assessments (one a month) and one final project, which is worked on over three months. In each we are required to demonstrate our knowledge with in-depth and detailed answers which show that we have a true understanding of the subject matter.
What were the different areas that you studied?
- The properties and fineness qualities of the four metals
- Recognising hallmarks and explaining punch marks
- The essential elements of security
- The difference between criminal and civil law and how they affect the retail jeweller
- Advanced four Cs and diamond certification (the fifth C)
- Coloured gemstones
- Advertisement campaigns
Why did you want to embark on the JET2 course?
I felt that the JET2 course would give me a deeper understanding of the jewellery industry. I always want to be able to provide customers with the best possible service and the knowledge that the programme gave me allows me in turn to educate customers, so that they can make a fully informed decision.
I have also always been interested in gemstones and this enhanced my knowledge in a particular area.
What did you enjoy most about the course?
For part of my final project I had to create a body of work that would be suitable for senior school students to help them to develop their knowledge on diamonds, gold and rubies. This had to be interactive and informative and presented in an easy to understand way. I feel that this will really help me to answer complex questions that customers in store may ask. I learned all about the trading, cutting and polishing of diamonds and rubies and how this has changed over the years – a fascinating topic!
What was the most important thing you learnt?
I did a lot of research on conflict diamonds (rough diamonds used to finance war). It is a really interesting subject that a lot of customers ask about as they may have heard of conflict diamonds and become concerned that we might sell them one. The continual success of the diamond industry is largely dependent on upholding strict standards of trade and it is reassuring to know measures have been put in place to prevent conflict diamonds entering the market place.
The Kimberley Process works to reduce the flow of conflict diamonds around the world and they are responsible for stemming 99.8% of the global production of conflict diamonds. You can find out more about the process here – https://www.kimberleyprocess.com/
How will the course help you in your day-to-day role at Laings?
When I first started at Laings my knowledge was a lot more limited (almost six years ago now!) Over the years I have learned a lot from my peers, however, this course has really helped to advance my skill set and increase my confidence when customers ask me more complex, or technical questions. I am now able to look at how I can help to progress Laings as a business and not just what I can offer a customer as an individual. The course covered a range of topics and I learned a lot about marketing and advertising, overall store security, customer confidence in the brand/store – amongst other things!
How did the course help to develop your skills as a designer?
In one of my projects, I had to construct an advertising campaign focusing on different ranges of jewellery over a six month period. This was really beneficial as I researched a lot of different ways to reach customers, some of which, I would like to use with items we have designed in store. It was also good seeing what did and didn’t work as advertising is so complex and highly dependent on your target market. I am hoping in the year to come to work closer with our own marketing department to bring more customers to store for something truly unique!
Thank you for taking the time to read about Alison’s JET2 course! Follow our latest news on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, or if you have any questions please pop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Til next time, Laings xXx