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After celebrating its 100th anniversary in August, Wallace Bishop's apprentice jeweller has won two industry awards
After celebrating its 100th anniversary in August, Wallace Bishop's apprentice jeweller has won two industry awards

Wallace Bishop apprentice wins top award

Jewellery chain Wallace Bishop has had its training prowess recognised, after its apprentice jeweller recently took out two industry awards.

Georgia Piggott, a third year jewellery apprentice who works in Wallace Bishop’s head office in Brisbane, was awarded Southbank TAFE’s Jewellery Apprentice of the Year award and the Queensland state medal for the regional WorldSkills Australia competition.

Stuart Bishop congratulates Georgia Piggott
Stuart Bishop congratulates Georgia Piggott

Piggott commenced her apprenticeship with the retailer in 2015 and said being crowned Apprentice of the Year was very unexpected.

“It was a total surprise – I was sure that one of my classmates was going to win,” Piggott stated.

“It honestly feels like this is the first step in my professional career and making a name for myself in the industry. I am looking forward to seeing where I can go from here.”

Piggott also competed in this year’s regional WorldSkills competition, which took place at the Sydney International Jewellery Fair in August.

“I won the regional competition two years ago in the first year of my apprenticeship as well, but didn’t do so well in the nationals,” Piggott said, adding, “I am hoping to do much better at nationals next time.”

The national WorldSkills competition is set to take place in June 2018.

Valuing apprenticeships

Wallace Bishop CEO Stuart Bishop said it was “great to see one of our young jewellers being recognised in this way".

“We give our utmost to train quality trades people and as a result we reap the benefits of loyal, competent workplace staff and jewellers,” Bishop explained.

He added that taking on an apprentice was not an easy investment for jewellery businesses, especially in the current environment.

“Wallace Bishop does, however, feel that taking on apprentices is an integral part to the ongoing health of the Australian jewellery industry," he said. 

“As part of our company ethos we have always made training apprentices part of our business plan and to accommodate this we ensure that we budget for the support and the training our apprentices require well ahead of finding the next generation.”

Wallace Bishop was founded in Brisbane in 1917 and has 50 stores throughout Queensland and NSW. There are 23 jewellers employed at the chain’s jewellery workshop, which is located at the head office.

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Sunday, 19 November, 2017 09:19pm
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