Bill Amberg Studio Apprenticeships

Training the next generation of leatherworkers

It was a proud moment for us last month, as we celebrated our leatherworker Matthew Jacques completing his three-year apprenticeship at the studio.Having studied at The Chelsea College of Art and Design, before working as a carpenter, Matt had no knowledge of leatherwork or its disciplines prior to joining, but came to us interested to combine his passions for design and making.

Matt was awarded a scholarship grant from Allchurches Trust and The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), which allowed us to bring him on as a trainee leatherworker; benefitting from a structured programme that mixed on-the-job training with focused key skills days, and independent projects.

Apprenticeships are an excellent opportunity to work with young and enthusiastic individuals who can take the time to learn our trade, while developing their own areas of interest. A lack of formal education in traditional leatherwork is the largest obstacle to recruiting new craftspeople in our field. But by investing in raw talent, we are investing in the future of our business.

The skills that Matt has worked hard to develop are rooted in the traditional techniques that have underpinned the leatherworker’s trade for hundreds of years. Our team draws from the disciplines of casemaking, saddlery and bookbinding – often using tools and methods that have remained unchanged for centuries. As a much-valued member of the Bill Amberg workshop team, Matt will help to ensure that the British tradition of leatherworking continues to thrive.

We will be accepting applications for our next apprentice leatherworker from 1 June to 30 September 2020 inclusive. If you have a can-do attitude and would be interested to learn a skill in a nurturing but hard-working environment, please get in touch.