Saturday, April 20, 2024

The NAJ Hosts Industry Wide Roundtable for the Future of the Trade

On Thursday, 8th February, The National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) hosted a special 23 person industry wide roundtable, bringing together all facets of the UK Jewellery, Silverware and Allied Crafts sectors, to meet with Sir Chris Bryant MP, Shadow Minister for Creative and Digital, part of the Department for Digital, Media Culture and Sport (DCMS).

The DCMS approached the NAJ to gather representative industry businesses, organisations, and institutions to better understand the challenges and opportunities faced by the jewellery trade. Working collaboratively across sectors, the NAJ reached out to representatives throughout the craft and industry to form the roundtable, helping shape a comprehensive agenda around four key facets – Economics, People, Process and Sector Specific (internal issues within the trade).

Adam Jacobs, NAJ Vice Chair reflected: “The industry wide roundtable was a fantastic opportunity, not only to outline the opportunities and challenges facing the trade to government but to bring all industry sectors together to discuss a shared vision for the future of the UK jewellery industry.

The roundtable is a first step in greater collaboration and discussion within the trade and with external policy and decision makers. The NAJ is keen to ensure that the industry wide group is representative of the whole trade and welcomes input from organisations and individuals who wish to be involved.”

On 8th February at London’s Goldsmiths’ Centre, representatives met in person with Sir Chris Bryant MP and other DCMS officials, all with the interest of creating a growing, accessible, and responsible UK Jewellery, Silver, and Allied Crafts (UK JSCA) industry. The NAJ and trade partners called for greater recognition and support for an industry that employs 60,000 trained professionals and generates £8.5bn in annual revenue in retail, wholesale, and manufacturing alone.

The NAJ asked roundtable participants to provide key challenges facing the industry and possible actions and solutions. Suggested areas of action were broken down into four focus areas, combining government involvement and broader action delivered by an ongoing collaborative approach within the jewellery trade.

Sir Chris Bryant MP was actively engaged with the points delivered by those present, interrogating each area to broaden his own knowledge and understand jewellery and the allied trades within the broader context of the Creative Industries. Lively debate and discussion ensued with the whole room contributing to the conversation.

Annie Warburton, Clerk and CEO of the Goldsmiths Company, observed: “Jewellery, silverware, and allied trades are vital to the UK’s creative industries, contributing to growth, jobs, and innovation. Yet, there are urgent challenges to address on regulation, intellectual property, education, and skills if we are to maintain momentum. Bringing together leaders from across our industries to speak with a unified voice, the DCMS-NAJ roundtable marks a pivotal moment of recognition, raising policymakers’ awareness of our industries’ future growth potential.”

Noel Hunter, Chair of the British Hallmarking Council, said: “Future growth of the Industry, so important to the U.K. economy, will rely on effective regulation and enforcement to ensure the safeguards that Hallmarking provides to U.K. consumers is protected. The growth of online trading which has led to an increase in digital fraud has been accompanied by a serious erosion of enforcement resources. This leaves consumers vulnerable and the U.K. industry facing unfair competition. These will be important challenges for any incoming Government.”

The Industry can download the meeting notes and are encouraged to email FAO Ben Massey, NAJ Chief Executive, to share their views and / or volunteer time in this industry wide project.

A complete list of roundtable industry representatives:

Adam Jacobs, Jacobs the Jewellers and NAJ Vice Chair
Annie Warburton, The Goldsmiths’ Company
Ben Massey, National Association of Jewellers [Roundtable Chair]
Benjamin Ryan, Independent Silversmith, and Member of CBS and IPG
Chris Oliver, Goldsmiths’ Centre
Danila Tarnicle, Institute of Professional Goldsmiths
Darren Sherwood, Sherwood Jewellery
David Troostwyk, London Diamond Bourse
Emmet Cummins, Company of Master Jewellers
Harriet Kelsall, Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design Ltd
Heather Callaway, FIRV and NAJ Chair
James Trevett, Weston Beamor
Joanna Hardy, The Goldsmiths’ Company
John Ball, Brown and Newirth
Karin Paynter, Independent Consultant / Fellow, Contemporary British Silversmiths (CBS)
Karine Lepeuple, Goldsmiths’ Centre
Lisa Levinson, Natural Diamond Council
Marie Garnett, National Association of Jewellers
Noel Hunter, British Hallmarking Council
Peter Crump, VIPA Designs
Raluca Anghel, Natural Diamond Council
Rebecca Skeels, Birmingham City University
Rebecca van Rooijen, Benchpeg
Sally Dodson, Hand Engravers Association
Sally Leonard, CENTA, and Hatton Garden Club

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