The NAJ held their annual JET Graudations Awards ceremony on March 15th at the Goldmsiths Hall, where the recipient of the prestigious Greenough Trophy is announced. This mark of recognition for skill, dedication and hard work is presented to the student who achieves the highest aggregate marks, having completed the most outstanding project in the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma.
This year it was Victoria Parker from GS Milton, St Helens, who carried off the coveted award. Her name joins all previous recipients engraved upon the beautiful trophy that was first awarded in 1946.
Described by her tutor, Mark Houghton, as “a model student”, Victoria was the Bransom Award winner for September 2015 – an impressive achievement, given that she had been working in the industry for just eight months at that point. “Victoria demonstrated practical, hands-on attitude in the outstanding answer to her project,” offered the moderator Eddie Stanley. “She also showed excellent customer care skills. Progressing onto the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma Course is something I am sure she would enjoy and benefit from.”
Prescient words as it turns out! “I am so proud to receive the award – it is such an honour. It is my biggest achievement and means so much,” Victoria told The Jeweller. “While completing JET2 I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and I recently lost my dad, but I know he would have been very proud of me – just as he was when I won the Branson Award.
“I’ve gained so much from doing the course – particularly confidence. When I completed JET1 I wasn't confident sure I could do JET2, I used to doubt myself, but the NAJ’s Mandy Kelly encouraged me to carry on. This and the Branson Award haven given me a big boost.”
Chris Garland, MD of Bransom Retail Systems, introduced the most recent winners of the Bransom Awards – given to those who had the best JET1 projects for the 12 months of 2016 and then the main event: the handing over of the Professional Jewellers’ Diplomas. Once again Beaverbrooks the Jewellers took the (unofficial) prize for the most number of graduates – 19 in all! But many other stores could boast multiple staff achievements, including: Goldsmiths, Allum & Sidaway, Chisholm Hunt, Swag, Ernest Jones, Mappin & Webb, Parkhouse and Boodles.
(courtesy of The NAJ)