The Harmony Jewellery School was the first of its kind in the Free State, South Africa, and was inaugurated in November, 2000. It is sponsored by the Italian government via the United Nations Office for Project Service, and Harmony Gold and trains students in the art of making jewellery. It was established on the premises of the harmony Gold Mining Company in Virginia.
The school forms part of a broader, more ambitious initiative to establish a technology sophisticated jewellery production center capable of mass-producing jewellery for both the local and export markets. The jewellery school serves to introduce jewellery manufacturing skills, enabling the students to become self-sufficient in the sector.
The National Diploma in Jewellery Design and Manufacturing is offered by the Central University of Technology, Free State at the Harmony Jewellery School in Virginia.
The National Diploma is a full-time three year course. The subjects covered are: Jewellery Theory, Jewellery Design, and Jewellery Drawing & Jewellery Techniques.
The program aims to develop talented historically disadvantaged individuals from the nearby towns. There is also ample opportunity to receive a performance bursary and aid from the state loan system and therefore students from disadvantaged backgrounds have the chance to develop their talents.
A working agreement was signed between Harmony Jewellery School and Goldfields FET Welkom, to establish a learnership programme. The learnership programme will serve as a bridging programme for the Diploma course as well as to develop skilled people to work in a mass manufacturing plant.
The contract signifies the implementation of the learnership in the Jewellery manufacturing with the Hive as the host employer, Harmony Jewellery School as a training provider in the core and the electives and Goldfields FET will provide the fundamentals and Quality Assurance. The learnership gives the opportunity to obtain a National Certificate in Jewellery Manufacturing.Aspects of jewellery manufacturing, such as design, goldsmithing, setting and other jewellery techniques, will be addressed.
After three years of training at the Harmony Jewellery School, the students will be able to start an apprentice year at the hive. Students will produce commercial products in a manufacturing hive, which are supported by a marketing and distribution unit. There will also be a curios shop where the work will be displayed and sold.
The marketing aims to sell to domestic and global markets, including tourist and supporting industries. An incubator system will allow model builders and designers to rent a cubicle, thus giving the trained people an opportunity to become entrepreneurs.
The main aim is to develop a brand called Phatsima by using the designs from the Harmony Jewellery School students as well as designs for the Technology Human Resource Information Programme and by using Rapid Prototyping Technology and Computer Aided Design to manufacture models. The students receive training on all the systems and receive a small remuneration to help pay for their studies.
Each year Harmony Jewellery School co- sponsors Miss Goldfields by providing the crown and jewellery for the gala evening and jewellery prices to the winner.
HARMONY JEWELLERY SCHOOL
Harmony Jewellery Park
P.O. Box 1
Glen Harmony 9435
Fax: +27 57-217-2592