Blogs (Media Centre)

TAFE NSW equips next generation of trade-qualified jewellery manufacturers


TAFE NSW equips next generation of trade-qualified jewellery manufacturers

Chris Van Honk is a third year Jewellery Manufacture apprentice from Wagga Wagga who is training through TAFE NSW

As the jewellery manufacturing sector in Australia continues to grow and evolve, TAFE NSW Design Centre Enmore is skilling the next generation of jewellery manufacturers and designers, offering the only nationally accredited trade qualification in New South Wales.

The jewellery manufacturing sector in Australia has shown remarkable growth compared to other manufacturing industries with industry revenue surging 12.5% over the past five years to reach an estimated $4.3bn in 2023 according to IBIS World.

TAFE NSW Design Centre Enmore has seen an increased interest in their Certificate III Jewellery Manufacture course with students ranging from aspiring 16-year-old apprentices to seasoned hobby jewellers in their 70s. Thirty students from all over regional New South Wales are currently enrolled in a jewellery manufacturing apprenticeship travelling to Design Centre Enmore once a month over 9 months of the year.

One regionally based student Christopher Van Honk, 22, is in his third year of his Certificate III Jewellery Manufacture apprenticeship. He decided to pursue a career as a trade-qualified jeweller after completing a unit of silversmithing in high school.


“For my major work I designed pendants and four matching sapphire rings,” Van Honk said. “I really enjoyed the process and my dad, who is a former geologist, encouraged me to explore stone cutting within jewellery manufacturing. I’m now in my third year of the apprenticeship and travel from Wagga Wagga to Sydney each month. I believe it’s worth the travel because once I’ve completed my trade I can go anywhere with this qualification. There’s a high demand for jewellers, particularly those within the manufacturing industry.

“Through this course I’ve learnt technical drawing skills, painting and colouring for design work, using hand tools, and designing on computers. The TAFE NSW teachers create a supportive learning environment and they’re also very knowledgeable as they all work within the trade. I get to learn on the job and then return to my workplace at Epica Jewellers, a small-town jewellery store in Wagga Wagga.

“When I return from my practical block at TAFE NSW I show my boss what I’ve learnt and apply these new skills straight away within the workplace. I really enjoy working within the store and applying a mix of creativity and problem-solving to my work.”

Head Teacher of Jewellery Design at Design Centre Enmore Gina Kind said apprentice students are quickly employed within the industry through either local jewellers or within jewellery manufacturing following their course completion.

“We saw a significant resurgence in student interest within our courses following Covid,” Kind said. “Students never have any issues finding employment and the whole industry seems to be going through a resurgence.

“As the only industry-recognised jewellery manufacturing trade course in the state, we’re very pleased to see a large cohort of students enrol in the course each semester. The course offers practical experience and the opportunity to develop specialist skills that will give our graduates an advantage in the job market. Although the jewellery industry has undergone significant changes and challenges over the years, it’s a trade that will endure forever.”

For more information on Certificate III in Jewellery Manufacture or the Diploma of Visual Arts (Jewellery) please visit

Media contact: Mel O’Connell, Communications Specialist, 0409 930 777,