Jewellery trailblazer rewarded for government role with CBE

Jason Holt

Jason Holt - Credit: Archant

A former Highgate School pupil who set up the UK’s first professional training school for jewellers has been recognised for his work to promote apprenticeships.

Hampstead Garden Suburb resident Jason Holt, 45, founded Holts Academy which trains up to 1,000 aspiring jewellers each year and works as an apprenticeship ambassador for the government.

Mr Holt started the academy after taking over the family jewellers in Hatton Garden, Holborn, in 1999.

The father-of-three, who grew up in Platts Lane, Hampstead, has been made a CBE for services to the jewellery sector and apprenticeships.

He said: “It was apparent to me that we had an issue with recruiting young talented people and at the same time our workforce wasn’t getting any younger. There was also a report that said there was no professional training in the sector.

“Because we had a workshop of skilled craftsmen we set up a small training team which in 15 years grew from a workshop for a few people to a school teaching 1,000 every year.”

Mr Holt, a trained lawyer, added: “It’s incredibly humbling and surprising, never in my wildest dreams would I have expected to have such an honour.”