About BAJ | BAJ

Born out of the industry in 1999 by a local Hatton Garden family-run business, we are an Academy providing pioneering jewellery education and training programmes that nurture creative talent and technical ability.

The British Academy of Jewellery aims to be a jewellery school where technical training is not an afterthought. Where technical skills are not seen as a hindrance to creativity, but where knowledge acquired by the hands provides inspiration. Aspiring to be a school where students do not shy away from originality and creativity and where traditional techniques are taught to then be challenged.

Responding to industry needs, we seek to provide the next generation of skilled jewellers who possess the aptitude and ingenuity to shape the future of the industry.

With bases in London and Birmingham, we work closely with industry, government and education partners with hopes to build a support network to help sustain the growth of the jewellery trade and other creative industries within the UK.

126 Albert Street
126 Albert Street

Our Proposals

We are preparing proposals to establish new educational premises at 126 Albert Street in Camden. This involves adapting existing office and teaching space to create space for our lectures, seminar, study, workshops and more, to support the delivery of our new campus. For more information about our vision for this new facility, why it is needed, how it would be used and possible timescales for opening, take a look at our Q&A document. If you are a neighbour or member of the community and have any comments or questions about these proposals, you can get in touch with our consultation team at 126AlbertStreet@kandaconsulting.co.uk. For all other enquiries relating to the BAJ, please contact us at info@baj.ac.uk

Q&A

December 2022
Introduction
The British Academy of Jewellery is preparing proposals to establish its new educational premises at 126 Albert Street in Camden. This document sets out the vision for this, explains who the British Academy of Jewellery is and why we are interested in this opportunity. It also discusses how the building would operate if the proposals are approved.

Who is the British Academy of Jewellery?
The British Academy of Jewellery (BAJ) dates back to 1999, when a Hatton Garden family-run business set up the Holts Academy to provide trained and creative talent for the jewellery industry. It began as a workshop beneath a family boutique. The Holts Academy was bought by G. Gherscovic in 2016 and became the British Academy of Jewellery, working closely with the government and education partners to foster a network of support to help drive the growth of the UK jewellery industry. Responding to trade’s need for skilled craftsmen, BAJ developed innovative jewellery programmes and apprenticeships designed to nurture technical skills as well as creative ability.
Our missions is:
‘To be recognised as the first choice for jewellery training by providing outstanding delivery, motivating learners to achieve their highest aspirations and assuring employers of the quality of talent’.

What do you do?
We are a jewellery school where technical training works alongside creativity to produce students who develop creative and original work and challenge traditional techniques. We aim to create the next generation of skilled jewellers to shape the future of the industry.

What courses do you offer?
We offer a range of courses from short one-day courses, to 3-year full-time study. This includes Further Education courses (Certificates, Diplomas and Apprenticeships) and Higher Education courses (HNC/HND and soon a BA) as well as non-accredited short courses. The courses are well-regarded by Ofsted and the industry, and mainly focus on jewellery but also include business and other disciplines that support its core delivery.

How do you support the jewellery industry?
The BAJ has a reputation as a leading training provider in the UK jewellery sector. We aim to provide high-quality practical qualifications to equip our students with professional skills, design skills and business knowledge to find work within the jewellery industry or establish themselves as a self-employed designer. We are also a proud member of the National Association of Jewellers and Parlement Lycéen Européen, a European organization of jewellery schools.

Who are your students?
Our students are a diverse mix of individuals ranging from Hatton Garden professionals attending short courses, to 16-18 year olds on diploma courses and students 18+ studying degrees. At 126 Albert Street, we propose to host tuition for the higher-level qualifications, meaning
all students will be 18+.

Why do you need a new building?
The BAJ is currently based at Morley House on Holborn Viaduct, and we are expanding our course offerings with our new BA(Hons) Jewellery Design and Production Course. This course is validated by Kingston University. Due to this expansion, we need additional teaching facilities to support our work.

Why have you chosen 126 Albert Street?
We have been looking for a site which meets our needs in terms of location, size and sustainability for many years. We want to remain close to or within Camden to maintain our links to Hatton Garden and embed our work within Camden’s exciting and developing creative industries.
126 Albert Street has a long history of education. It was built in the 1970s by Richard Sheppard Robson OBE, who designed over 80 educational facilities including Churchill College, Cambridge. More recently, it has been used as an educational conference centre by World ORT (Organisation for Rehabilitation through Training).

How would the building be used?
BAJ would use the building to deliver teaching through lectures, seminars, workshops, group critique, individual tutorials, demonstrations, academic supervision, briefings, study visits, and peer and independent learning. We are proposing bench workshop rooms, which is where students would learn how to work with metal to produce jewellery. This includes techniques such as piercing, filing, soldering, enamelling, engraving and 3D printing.

How will you make sure this is safe and does not cause pollution or risk to the community?
The workshop rooms will be soundproof to ensure any work taking place does not disturb the teaching or residents. The rooms will also be fully secure and in line with strict health and safety standards to ensure they are fit for purpose. There will be onsite extraction and established COSHH practices (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) to manage any fumes or spillages.

What would be the hours of use, and how many people would be using it?
The building would generally be used between the hours of 8am – 6pm, Monday – Friday. There may also be occasional weekend courses from 9am – 5pm. We anticipate up to 22 members of staff attending the building per day, including security. Staff and students generally arrive between 8am – 9am and stay on site for the day. In the first year of operation, up to 100 students could use the building on a daily basis, rising to a maximum of 240 students per day in the third year of use. Students and staff will enter through reception at the front of the building, and the front and
rear entrances will be access-controlled. Reception will be manned during opening hours.

How will people arrive at the building?
Staff and students are expected to use public transport, walk, cycle or use a combination to access the building. Our proposals include 70 cycle parking spaces on site for use by staff and students.

How do I tell you what I think about the plans?
You can get in touch with our engagement team to share your comments and ask questions about the proposals using the details below: 126AlbertStreet@kandaconsulting.co.uk      020 3900 3676

Are you consulting with anyone else about these proposals?
We have written to the community in the Albert Street area, including the residents who live above the proposed new educational facility. We are inviting the community to ask questions and tell us what they think about the plans.

Our Vision
Our Vision
To provide a world-class technical and creative education to INSPIRE, NURTURE and TRAIN the next generation of jewellers.
Our Culture
Our Culture

Whilst we have evolved as an education provider, we have retained our traditional values and dedication to teaching excellence.

Our talented team of tutors and staff at BAJ foster our culture seeking:

to INSPIRE, to ignite interest into the world of British jewellery manufacture and design.

to NURTURE, to draw out each student’s individual creativity and vision, and build their confidence.

to TRAIN, to equip students with a conceptual and technical skillset to prepare them for a career in industry.

to PIONEER, to be at the fore-front of innovation for jewellery education.

to CONNECT, to foster a jewellery network of support to help sustain and support the growth of the jewellery trade.

Our History
Our History

Take a walk through our history to find out how we championed our way to providing quality jewellery education, revived the UK’s Apprenticeship industry, and supported the industry using our interactive timeline:

  • 1999 – An Industry Under Threat…

    1999

    A report from the department for trade and industry paints a bleak picture of the jewellery industry; craftsmen are a dying breed with a lack of new entrants. Founding family member Jason Holts writes a government bid for first incarnation of Holts Academy.

  • 1999 – Hatton Garden Gem School was born…

    1999

    Initially, the school comprised of 6 lapidary wheels and 6 jewellery benches in the lower-ground level of the Holts Gems boutique in Hatton Garden. Headed by Roger Dunkin and supported by Holts lapidaries Claire Westenhofer, Jan Hugye and Emma Barne, 70 people were trained in the art of gem-cutting and design in the school’s first year of opening.

  • 2003 – The Holts School of Jewellery…

    Over the next few years the Hatton Garden Gem School continued to develop additional training for jewellers according to the needs of the industry and in 2003 renamed the school the Holts School of Jewellery

  • 2006 – Women into Jewellery with the London Development Agency…

    In partnership with Newham College, Newham College, Holts drove a London Development Agency  ‘Women into Jewellery’ initiative to support over 300 women in making a career in the jewellery industry over a three year period.

  • 2006 – City Fringe Technology Partnerships…

    In conjunction with the Birmingham School of Jewellery and London Metropolitan University, Holts set up a City Fringe Partnership in the Technology Sector which would go on helping over 1000 businesses to embrace new technology over the next three years.

  • 2006 – The Future in the Making with Aldyth Crowther…

    Working with the Palmer Hamilton Partnership and jeweller Aldyth Crowther, Holts set up another City Fringe Partnership: ‘The Future in the Making’ with the aim to help over 500 mid-career independent jewellers to evolve and embrace modern business practice  over the next three years.

  • 2007 – Holts Academy of Jewellery: A not-for-profit entity…

    In 2007, the school became a separate not for profit legal entity and was renamed the Holts Academy of Jewellery

  • 2007 – Langdales Campus…

    The Academy opened its first dedicated site at Langdales in Hatton Garden, complete with two jewellery workshop studios and a CAD suite.

  • 2004 – The Sonar Project with Newham College…

    In partnership with Newham College Centre for Innovation and Partnerships, the Academy launched the ERDF Sonar Project: the first-of-its-kind CAD/CAM training and development centre for the jewellery industry at Temple Yard, Bethnal Green. The centre provided facilities to encourage experienced jewellers to adopt more modern jewellery manufacturing methods in order to remain competitive.

  • 2009 – The Ethic Project with Newham College…

    In partnership with Newham College Centre for Innovation and Development and funded by the European Social Fund, the Academy drove an initiative to engage industry to adopt ethical and sustainable jewellery practices. Alongside communicating its importance, Holts provided support on embedding ethical supply chains, business practices, and environmental improvements to jewellery businesses.

  • 2009 – Jewellery Connections with Change Act Share…

    In conjunction with the Camden Council and the Change Act Share organisation, the Academy created the Jewellery Connections Initiative, which aimed to help local UK designers and makers to connect with each to develop new products and partnerships, helping the trade to flourish.

  • 2009 – Scottish Qualification Authority Accredited…

    Holts Academy becomes accredited by SQA to offer vocational training qualifications.

  • 2009 – The Founding of Jewellery Manufacture NVQ…

    Holts Academy create and launch the first ever NVQ in Jewellery Manufacture.

  • 2010 – Creating the Jewellery Manufacture Diploma…

    Working with Creative and Cultural Skills, the Academy developed a new suite of Jewellery Manufacture Diplomas at beginner and intermediate level in response to the industry’s desperate need for craftsmen with manufacturing savoir-faire. The courses were designed with a core focus on equipping students with a technical manufacturing and design skillset to be able to produce their creations to the highest level of excellence.

FACILITIES

Based in London and Birmingham, our courses are taught in professional quality design studios and CAD suites. To find out more about our facilities, visit Location & Facilities.

SUPPORT

Our on-site Student Support team is on hand to give you the advice and guidance you need to succeed at BAJ and in industry. To find out more about our Student Support Services, visit Facilities & Student Support.

Careers


We’re always looking to grow our teams with enthusiastic, driven people with a passion for jewellery. If you think you have what it takes to work for the British Academy of Jewellery please send an email with your cv and cover letter attached and the position you would like to apply for in the subject to info@britishacademyofjewellery.com.

Contact Us

British Academy of Jewellery, 5 St Cross St, Hatton Garden, London. EC1N 6UA

+44 (0)20 7405 0197

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