THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FOUR SCHOLARS MAKE UP QEST’S IMPRESSIVE ALUMNI. THEY HAVE COME FROM A RANGE OF DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS AND WERE AGED BETWEEN 17-58 AT THE TIME OF THEIR APPLICATION.
These individuals were chosen for their high level of skill, dedication to their craft and evidence of a viable career plan. A QEST Scholarship is a grant awarded to an individual who is already established in their field of craft and is in need of funding to further their skills, and take their career to the next level.
A scholarship is additionally seen as a stamp of excellence that differentiates these craftspeople as exemplary makers. Many QEST Scholars have continued on to become leaders in their field such as Rod Kelly (goldsmith and silversmith); Shem Mackey (musical instrument maker) and Gary Drostle (mosaic artist).
Scholars work tirelessly to push their craft and their businesses (often operating as sole-traders) forward and make a valuable contribution to the British craft industry and sustain our cultural heritage. The UK craft industry is worth over £3bn to the economy and QEST exists to ensure that the opportunity to contribute to this thriving industry is accessible to everyone.
All applicants are carefully assessed for their need for funding. Details on what is expected of QEST applications can be found on the How to Apply page.
IN 2014 QEST STARTED AN APPRENTICESHIP SCHEME, CHAMPIONED BY THE ROYAL WARRANT HOLDERS ASSOCIATION. QEST AND THE RWHA ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO REJUVENATE THE IMAGE AND VIABILITY OF APPRENTICESHIPS AND THE PILOT HAS INDICATED THAT THERE IS A REAL APPETITE FOR THIS TYPE OF TRAINING.
With over many young people wishing to pursue work-based training rather than university, the time is right to offer an entry route into the craft sector to those with little or no experience. As with our Scholarship programme, we are looking for those that we believe will be capable of excellence and uphold QEST’s principle of funding exemplary talent.
The pilot scheme offered the chance for employers and apprentices to apply together for support for a traditional apprenticeship. Six apprentices were funded in the pilot year: a shoemaker with QEST scholar Deborah Carré of Carréducker; two shoemakers with John Lobb Ltd; a silversmith with Hamilton & Inches; a carpenter with W.S.Lusher & Son Ltd. and a potter with the Marches Pottery. These Apprentices were all keen and enthusiastic but without the same level of experience as our Scholars, and all had the advocacy of their employer. Having recently finished its second year, the QEST Apprenticeship Scheme continues to thrive.
The apprenticeship training must be comprehensive to ensure the QEST Apprentice will be deemed ‘industry ready’ upon completion of their training. We ask for a guarantee that the employer/master can provide long term employment once the apprenticeship has finished. Whilst reviewing applications, the need for funding is carefully assessed. Details on what we expect of QEST apprenticeship applications can be found on the How to Apply page.