HB Antwerp Opens Diamond Training Academy
The HB Academy will offer classes for prospective specialists and jewelry retailers, and continuing education for its own employees.
HB Academy, a state-of-the-art center based in Antwerp, will comprise three parts: training for prospective diamond specialists, courses for jewelry retailers, and an internal continuing education program for its own employees.
The academy will host a technical course three times a year for those interested in learning diamond polishing, starting this September.
After a “rigorous” selection process to assess technical skills and mathematical understanding, the academy will then choose eight prospective polishers to advance to a 12-week training course.
Those who complete that next step will be offered a job at HB Antwerp, where they will take additional courses to further master the craft under expert polishers.
Additionally, HB Academy will offer educational courses about the nuances of rough and polished diamonds catered to both boutique jewelers and major watch and jewelry brands.
The courses will be designed to help sales staff better understand their products and address customer questions.
“The combination of innovative technology, experienced craftsmanship, and transparency is the hallmark of HB Antwerp,” said Director of Corporate Affairs Margaux Donckier.
“HB Academy marks the first full-fledged, Antwerp-based training center for those in the diamond trade in decades. HB Antwerp is proud to contribute to the emergence of Antwerp as an international center for diamond knowledge and expertise.”
The academy and its program come as HB Antwerp continues to grow its operations.
The diamond company uses the latest planning and polishing technologies, blockchain, and artificial intelligence to take stones from rough to polished.
It signed on to analyze and cut the Sewelô diamond for Louis Vuitton last year and agreed to buy all Lucara Diamonds’ large stones (10.8 carats and up) through the end of 2020.
Concurrent with its news about the academy, HB Antwerp also announced a partnership with boutique incubator WomHub to recruit Botswanan engineering students for a training program.
The HB Innovation Lab is intended to support those pursuing STEM careers and provide local training and job opportunities, including a female-focused component for further gender parity in the diamond industry.
HB Antwerp said it intends to extend job offers to some participants upon completion of the program for positions at its diamond operations facility in Botswana.
The company is accepting applications through Aug. 2, with the program starting in September.
Those chosen for permanent positions will be onboarded at the start of 2022.
The team behind the program, designed to help increase the share of the colored stone market, will be at AGTA GemFair and JCK Las Vegas.
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