Entries are now open for the Nationwide Jewellers Apprentice of the Year competition, and the stakes are higher than ever before.
In the 12th year of the competition, the prize money has been increased from $1,000 to $5,000 towards tools and equipment for one lucky winner.
For the third year in a row, the format of the competition is focused on creativity, technical prowess, and the ability to effectively budget. Each entry is also individually judged based on the number of years of training the apprentice has completed.
“With the continued increase in consumer demand for custom design and makes, the aim of the competition is to help apprentices improve their skills in meeting the customer brief, ensuring their contribution to the business is both professional and profitable,” said Nationwide general manager Glen Pocklington told Jeweller.
“As well as giving entrants complete ownership of a project, the competition provides an opportunity for them to let their creative side shine.”
Entries are open to all members of the buying group, which represents more than 400 stores across three countries – Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.
Pocklington expressed his admiration and gratitude for the suppliers that have supported the competition, which last year was won by Ezekiel Maxwell Torrents, from Haab Designer Jewellers in Launceston, Tasmania.
“BECKS, AJS, GA Warburtons, Orange River Diamonds, and Palloys all share our commitment to supporting young people in our industry, and had no hesitation in contributing to this record prize,” he said.
The winner will be announced at the annual Nationwide Member and Supplier Awards Dinner on 20 August. This event takes place alongside the International Jewellery Fair in Sydney.