I WAS dismayed to read the report of the recent meeting about training at Upton Hall, the home of the British Horological Institute (FE Focus, March 24).
Certainly, there is a skill shortage in the industry and employers are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit trained people to service clocks and watches. However, your report gives the impression that existing establishments are unable to meet the need for skilled personnel.
There are, in fact, two colleges offering a full-time, three-year course in horology: City College, Manchester and the University of Central England, Birmingham. A college for the disabled, St Loyes in Exeter, provides a one year course and West Dean College, near Chichester, offers a two-year course in clock restoration. Service departments of the major watch houses in the UK keenly seek these trainees.
Fr from falling, there has been an upward trend in enrolments for some years. Several courses have waiting lists and some attract students from abroad.
Research sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers emphasised the need for additional training facilities and we endeavour to encourage the development of a course in the London area.
There is a significant demand for skilled watch and clockmakers in the south and the profession offers an absorbing and satisfying career.
If you or your students are interested in a full- or part-time course in London, please indicate your support by writing to us.
Master of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and President of the
British Horological Institute
Room 6667 Albert Buildings
49 Queen Victoria Street