Education and training

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The ever changing world provides much scope for new opportunities particularly the platinum group metals with their unique properties and abundance of uses. In growing any industry the development of human capacity is fundamental in order to provide skills into the industry and bring new enthusiasm in an ever changing environment. The opportunities of jewellery exist in recapturing local market share and accessing global markets. This coupled with the need to strive towards developing competitive edges in all aspects of technological, bench and design skill, marketing the jewellery industry can then think about competing against the rest of the world.

The company has long been a supported of various initiatives starting with the first ever platinum studio at the Tshwane University of Technology. This has grown to supporting six tertiary institutions and one further education and training facility. The supply of platinum metal, technology and bench equipment purchase coupled with targeted bursaries at previously disadvantaged learners is the type of support offered.

The drive at these tertiary institutions is to promote excellence and technology in both design and manufacture within the jewellery industry. South Africa needs to identify its key strengths and competitive edge and build on these in order to grow the industry. The drive at the further education and training is to supply apprentices for the manufacturing trade.

The future is promising particularly with the alignment of training initiatives with industry requirements and growth in the industry is possible as more locally competent people are entering into the business.

The institutions supported are:

  • Tshwane University of Technology

    The Department of Jewellery Design and Manufacture is based within the Department of Fine and Applied Arts. Their goal is to teach students to develop striking concepts, and to craft them carefully into becoming exactly what the artist has dreamt them to be.

    The Hans Merensky Platinum Jewellery Studio was set up at the Tshwane University of Technology (then Technikon Pretoria) in September 2000. Since then, the training in Platinum manufacturing skills has developed into a large part of the Third year students' practical component.

    Under the tutelage of Ms Nina Newman, the students have learnt the practical housekeeping, Design and Manufacturing skills unique to Platinum, and have consistently fared extremely well, in both the PlatAfrica Awards Platinum jewellery competition (designing and manufacturing their own pieces) and the post-diploma working environment, in which there is a dearth of "platinum-capable" small operators.

    The philosophy is to make use of an individual and holistic approach in the training of our students. They have the opportunity to work with different metals (copper, silver, gold and platinum) and gems and will also learn how to run their own jewellery business.

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  • University of Stellenbosch

    The faculty of Fine Arts of the University houses the jewellery design division. The department offers a four-year degree programme majoring in design and production.

    The company in 2004 approved the funding of a precious metal studio within the faculty of Fine Arts building to introduce platinum metal to compliment the high reputation of design at the institution. The aim is to assist students in developing adequate skills technology and practice of platinum jewellery by developing the base understanding of this unique material, it manipulation, through design and manufacture to move rapidly towards high quality design and manufacture techniques within the local and international marketplace.

    The institution prides itself on been a leading creative workshop rather than a school where lecturers and students develop ideas regarding the future of jewellery and work out expressive means in tune with trends in the contemporary design world.

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  • University of Johannesburg

    The University of Johannesburg's faculty of Art Design and Architecture(FADA) has been offering tertiary level tuition for over seven decades. FADA is one of the leading design educational resource in the country. The university is in the process of completed the new facilities at the Auckland park Campus and the company via the Anglo American Chairman's' fund has contributed towards the establishment of a platinum design and manufacture studio.

    This new state of the Art building will breathe new life into design as the new campus becomes a centre of excellence in tourism and design driven.

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  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology

    Probably the best resourced jewellery facility in Africa the university provides students with the ability to move into the industry or start their own business in a professional manner. The university is situated in the heart of the CBD of Cape Town and is in close touch with the trends of the local industry driven by particularly the tourist market. The university from its' own funding established a platinum studio to broaden the scope of precious metals taught.

    Website link.

  • Durban University of Technology

    The Durban University of Technology, Faculty of Arts and Design, has the long reputation of producing artists of both national and international stature. A significant number of its graduates are easily absorbed in the job market while the entrepreneurial and venturesome become self-employed and invariably become creators of employment for others.

    The Faculty of Arts and Design excels in training students to unlock their expressive and artistic talents. Its philosophy is based on the notion that human talent and potential are unlimited. The Faculty offers programmes that are nationally and internationally acclaimed. To assist students whose high school education was not orientated towards the Arts, the Faculty of Arts and Design offers a short programme called the Foundation Course.

    The Faculties Jewellery Design and Manufacturing programme trains students in designing, manufacturing and marketing of jewellery, the basic principles for a successful career in the jewellery business. On completion of the instructional programme, graduates will have no difficulties in coping with the variety of manufacturing and designing functions.

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