Jewellery making has huge potential if you are creatively and technically inclined. The Gem and Jewellery sector has many opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship. It just requires strategic promotion and awareness creation among the youth. With an objective to know more about Jewellery and Gemmology as a career in India, we spoke to Ms Bhavana Lihla Schroeder, Jewellery Engineer, Gemologist and Co-Founder – B’precious. Keep reading to know more about courses and careers in Jewellery and Gemmology sector.
Q: How do we include courses in Gem and Jewellery in colleges in India to attract interested youth and help them get professionally qualified?
A: In India, we can start incorporating the Gem and Jewellery related courses within our regular graduation courses. There are many aspects of these courses which are strongly connected with our regular graduation courses. So a three year graduation course with required theoretical knowledge and hands-on training should be the starting point. Jewellery and Gemmology has a significant scientific background associated with it. Metallurgy is an important part in Jewellery and Gemmology and it is partly mathematics. Because of these scientific and mathematical requirements, these courses can be incorporated in basic B.Sc courses. If we talk about other important aspects, designing is the backbone of this field as is computer aided designing.
Q: Keeping in mind domestic and export markets, what are the estimated workforce requirements in this sector and what skills are in demand?
A: The work force requirement is relatively huge in this sector as various handmade artistry are required. And a skilled workforce is the need of the hour for any sector. While we need mass production of jewellery in India, the international market has a demand for art pieces and one-of-its-kind jewellery which are masterpieces. So, finesse is the need of the hour in the international market. There are many areas of specialization for our workforce. We have specialties like cutting (jali work), enamelling, raising, engraving etc., to name a few. As automated manufacturing has become popular, handwork is vanishing.
To keep it alive, skills are needed, irrespective of the field. Any form of specialization like stone setting, stone carving or faceting and finishing in jewellery or gemstones is very important. It’s a huge world which is ever growing and will continue to grow. Learning all of these skills will largely contribute to the sector and will help it grow further. Market trends are ever changing and evolving so specialization will help the workforce to sustain the changes and meet the industry demand nationally and internationally.
Q: Mostly jewellery making has been unorganized activity in India, with many crafts fading away – what is your opinion about reviving them through skill development and entrepreneurship support?
A: I have been emphasizing the need for skilling since we have very few skilled people who can meet the industry requirements; we should organize more seminars and workshops. For generations this is a passing on trade now is the time to expand it. We should spread awareness about it at school level so that students get to choose a different trade like this which has immense potential. Jewellery is a never ending world. It will be required and consumed always. It should not be a closet or family trade it should be known and spread to all. It could be a great livelihood for anybody and everybody. In our male dominated society women and differently abled should be given a fair chance to stand and make it a livelihood choice.
Related article: Hunnarbaaz series: Skills and jobs in gem and jewellery sector – Read more: https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/gem-jewellery-sector/
Q: What are some of the institutes in India where students can pursue higher education in Jewellery Design (for both precious and non-precious)? Do they have industry tie-ups for practical training?
A: We have various institutes in India which are offering specialization courses in jewellery making. Some of the institutes are NIFT, JD Institute of Fashion Technology and Indian Institute of Gem and Jewellery (IIGJ).
There are organized courses and studies offered by Gem and Jewellery experts of India. There are many private institutes which are offering these courses. However, government-run programs are more extensive and practical-oriented.
Q: What is your message for the young people who want to get into this industry?
A: Jewellery making has been overlooked as a profession for many years and it is about time, we bring awareness about it among the people. It has a huge scope as the demand for jewellery will always be there. It is an integral part of Indian economy and lives in our system. Proper awareness for the future generation to see it as a profession is needed. The young mass, who wants to enter into this industry can have a specialization in a particular craft. It also has entrepreneurship opportunities, where the young people can take up the jewellery making as a whole business. It doesn’t need huge investment. The things it needs are the proper know-how and required skills.