Article from Retail Jeweller

INDUSTRY Q&A: Marion Wilson on investing in staff training

Marion Wilson, academy director, of the Birmingham Assay Office, discusses the importance of investing in staff training and development.

Q: How can training and development help businesses stay ahead of the competitors?

A: Henry Ford once said, “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”

Investing in staff training and development not only helps businesses achieve its goals but also improves productivity and performance by

increasing staff morale. Successful businesses who invest in their staff see a higher retention rate and a reduction in staff turnover helping businesses keep ahead of the competition by attracting and retaining quality staff.

Confident trained staff will automatically give you a competitive advantage as they will be more likely to upsell. Product knowledge creates trust between the customer and the business which in return means repeat custom and word of mouth recommendations.

Our introductory one-day courses are ideal for employees new to the trade as they cover diamond, gemstone and hallmarking training providing staff with the tools to enable them to sell with confidence.

Q: What courses do you offer to the jewellery trade?

A: Our courses cater for those new to the jewellery industry and for those who are more experienced in the trade. We also have technical courses about topics such as plating compliance with legislation and consumer product safety, keeping individuals up-to-date on changes in regulations applicable to the costume jewellery and fashion accessories industry.

We can also offer a bespoke service, where we tailor our learning and development resources to suit you, your team and your business.

Q: Why should businesses come to the Birmingham Assay Office for their training needs?

Our courses are written by industry experts, and Birmingham Assay Office has a long-established reputation within the jewellery trade for its excellence as an independent centre of quality assessment and expert opinion for precious metals, jewellery and gemstones.

In response to the ever-changing challenges and opportunities facing its customers, Birmingham Assay Office has established training programmes for many aspects of the jewellery, precious metal and gemstone industry. Our ‘hands on’ courses are taught in small groups and are delivered by experienced industry practitioners whose skills and knowledge are applied in a commercial environment on a daily basis.

Our academy is keen to promote excellence through learning and has created an unrivalled team of industry experts to explain and demonstrate the issues clearly. The ever-expanding portfolio of courses now includes diamond synthetics, simulants and treatments and identifying customized and counterfeit watches.

All our courses are interactive, enjoyable and provide that all important confidence founded on solid knowledge. Our courses offer a unique opportunity to experience a guided tour around Birmingham Assay Office, where you’ll meet our experts whilst they work. 

Q: Are you launching any new courses for 2019?

We are always developing and increasing our course offering to meet the demands of the industry. If you would like to find out more about courses offered by AnchorCert Academy, please contact Kelly Fisher on 0121 794 1320 or visit