Former engineer and Waterloo local May Hua has outshone the competition to gain a coveted role as a designer at the prestigious Cerrone Jewellers.
May Hua grew up with a love of drawing and design but, as sometimes happens, she found herself on a different career path.
“After I graduated from my master’s degree in engineering, I took stock of my career trajectory and actually realised I had a real
talent and passion for design. I didn’t want to waste any more time on a career I didn’t love so I made up my mind to become qualified and begin my new path,” Ms Hua said.
“I considered a masters in jewellery design, but I wanted to make sure I could get a job after I graduated and found the relationships TAFE NSW established with industry would help me get my foot in the door quicker than studying at university.”
Ms Hua enrolled in the Certificate II followed by the Certificate III in jewellery manufacture at TAFE NSW Design Centre Enmore and was impressed by the hands-on nature of the work. “Because I was able to spend so much practical time honing my craft in the studio, I graduated ready to walk straight into a job,” Ms Hua said.
Ms Hua completed the qualification in December 2020 and through TAFE NSW was offered a position at Cerrone Jewellers.
Ms Hua is one of six TAFE NSW graduates employed by Cerrone, which is highly regarded for its bespoke designs and boasts
the largest handmade jewellery workshop in Australia.
Managing director of Cerrone Jewellers, Mr Nic Cerrone, said when they are looking for like-minded employees who have a passion for jewellery, TAFE NSW always delivers workers with the skills and dynamism they are looking for.
“Cerrone has been working with TAFE NSW in offering graduates full time employment for over 30 years,” Mr Cerrone said.
“Cultivating the younger generations to continue to art of the jewellery trade has always been a priority for Cerrone and TAFE
NSW graduates come to us with fresh and new ideas and skills as well as an enthusiasm and passion to learn.”
It’s a perfect time to enter the sector, with the watch and jewellery retailing industry projected to grow over the next five years due to anticipated rises in discretionary incomes and consumer sentiment. TAFE NSW head teacher of jewellery manufacture and design Gina Kind said the Certificate III in jewellery manufacture provides students with hands-on skills in all aspects of jewellery fabrication in custom artist studios so students graduate ready for a career in the industry.
“Our industry connections mean we are always looking for employment opportunities for our students so many finish the course and go directly into a job,” Ms Kind said. “Longstanding relationships with businesses like Cerrone mean they often come straight to TAFE NSW seeking fresh talent.”