The purpose of the project is to provide much needed artisan skills to the previously disadvantaged youth in the community. Students are taught the skill of precious metal arts and jewellery manufacturing through practical training and a mentorship programme. Jewellery manufacturing skills are constantly revised with new techniques and machinery.Two senior full-time goldsmiths were appointed this year to ensure skills transfer and a high quality of training to trainees. The project also received full accreditation with the MQA (Mining Qualifications Authority) and can now provide certificated training up to Level 4, which provides learners with a qualification that enables them to be employed in the jewellery industry.This project is the first training institution in Mpumalanga to be able to provide such training.
The 14 students currently attending the project, have produced a variety of jewellery, inspired by the local people and environment. The jewellery is marketed and sold through an agreement with the Jacaranda Tree Company, which markets the jewellery on the project’s behalf in London through the John Lewis stores. This marketing campaign has not gained the required traction from the project and further local marketing initiatives have been considered, including a marketing website which is set to go live in the next financial year.