The watchmaker apprenticeship – why you should employ an apprentice now

The watchmaker apprenticeship – why you should employ an apprentice now

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The second cohort of apprentices will start learning at the Watchmaker Apprentice Training School (WATS) in January 2021. 

From a successful start, the apprenticeship programme is beginning again after lockdown in March.  Despite the challenges of coronavirus, the apprentices were able to continue their studies of the core theory for watch servicing.

The programme is well organised with the teaching of fundamental practical servicing skills.  WATS is a very well-equipped training provision within an experienced successful watch servicing business.  As well as using the range of equipment in the training room, experience is gained from working with the commercial facilities for cleaning and polishing.

We are enrolling the second cohort of apprentices to start their horological journey at the school in January 2021. It’s an excellent opportunity for students and employees alike.

Help at Hand

If you feel you would like to take on an apprentice but funds are tight, don’t worry, help may be at hand. At the moment, there’s also a further boost available with the Government granting extra bonuses of up to £2,000 for each apprentice employed.

Under the Watchmakers’ Apprenticeship Scheme, the Government pays for the teaching (apprenticeship levy payers – 100%, non-levy payers – 95%).

During the two-year apprenticeship, you are provided with 14 weeks block release training for practical skills. Between the block release sessions, the apprentice is assisted with learning underpinning knowledge.

To find out more about the further Government incentives, £2,000 for each apprentice aged 18–24 years, and £1,500 for 25 years and over, go to: and search Employing an Apprentice.

A Tailored Programme

The WATS programme has been designed by watchmakers to train watchmakers. Apprentices begin by learning how to undertake ‘part jobs’ – changing batteries, stems, etc, and progress to movement exchange and the servicing of quartz watches.

Case polishing is also included to meet the growing demand for customers expecting their watch to be returned looking immaculate. Learning then continues to servicing and fault finding for manual and automatic watches.

From the start, the emphasis during training is competence to reduce the time spent learning at work.

The apprenticeship follows a joint approach involving the employer, the student and the staff at WATS, to ensure good practice is taught at the school and is carried through to the workplace. The student will very quickly become an asset to your business.

I’m interested in taking on an Apprentice – what should I do now?

Email to gain further details and see howthe scheme could work for you. You will receive an information pack which includes the handbook explaining the arrangements and syllabus for the apprenticeship andan application form.

Don’t worry, there will be the opportunity for further questions to be answered before completing the application. On receipt of the application, a visit to your workshop will be arranged to meet the person who will be responsible for supervising the apprentice and the apprentice.

Once everything is approved, the training will start in January 2021. Why not find out more, you have nothing to lose.