The Fellowship is designed for duos of master artisans and young talents to facilitate the transmission of skills and enable the first steps towards a profession in the craft sector

  •  A unique programme to assist with professional integration of talented graduates into the craft sector
  • The long-term partnership is the result of a shared vision for the future of craftsmanship
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre’s participation reflects their ethos of social responsibility anchored in education and the transmission of savoir-faire
  • The Fellowship encompasses practical skills transmission, entrepreneurial learning and professional mentoring
  • 20 duos will be selected to participate in the first edition from September 2023 – March 2024
  • The programme is taking place in several European countries in partnership with local members of the international network of the Foundation

Why Homo Faber Fellowship?

The scholarship programme seeks to make crafts culturally, economically and socially relevant for students of applied arts and crafts.

The initiative is the result of an in-depth research of the craft sector. It identified the barriers experienced by young craftspeople on their quest to build a career in craft and the economic restraints faced by master artisans to train younger generations. In France, 94% of master artisans do not train an apprentice, showing the scope for positive change, especially given that the actual number of students trained in manual work and craftsmanship is not sufficient to cover demand. In Italy, Altagamma estimates that within 5 years the member maisons will need to hire 346,000 new artisans and technicians.  According to a study by Comité Colbert in France, 20,000 manual positions are currently vacant amongst their 93 member maisons.

Given that it takes on average 10 years of continuous training to master a craft, the need to expand training opportunities in the craft sector is visible. Without transmission to younger generations, many artisan workshops face the danger of closing down and key skills being lost. Based on a recent survey we carried out on our community of 3,000 Homo Faber artisans, more than 85% work alone in a mono-structure. The hope is to create thriving artisan businesses that continue to evolve with market demands to the extent that they can welcome trainees and secure the future of their workshops. This requires intergenerational exchanges, life-long learning and entrepreneurial skills.

How does the Fellowship align with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s ethos?

The Homo Faber Fellowship programme aligns perfectly with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s values which are rooted in a long history of facilitating the sharing of knowledge between master and trainee.

The partnership builds on the Maison’s existing in-house apprenticeship programmes. For more than 30 years, the Maison has run dedicated programmes for apprentices to welcome them into the workshops.

In 2021, a new Training Centre was inaugurated, dedicated to training young talents not only in watchmaking but in related occupations such as micro-engineering, quality control, sales and customer service. By extending its support to the wider crafts community, the Maison’s aim is to help young artisans from many different craft backgrounds to access a better life through a profession in the craft sector.

Driven by the value of work, the Maison’s mission is to safeguard its traditional savoir-faire and ensure it is handed down to younger generations. Investing in education is a priority, and its corporate education programme is dedicated to supporting the next generation by partnering with schools and universities worldwide. 

How does the Fellowship respond to a changing creative job market?

The programme addresses these key concerns by sponsoring master artisans to train talented young graduates, transmitting to them both their knowledge and skills through hands-on exchange. The goal is to create a model that stimulates change and growth in the craft sector and responds to job openings. The Fellowship develops the employability of applied arts and craft graduates by equipping them with the practical and business skills they require to pursue a sustainable career in the craft sector.


Who is the Fellowship for and what does it offer its participants?

Education has been a key focus of the Michelangelo Foundation since its inception. Its previous programmes have paved the way for the Fellowship, a wider-reaching initiative thanks to key studies and the pivotal partnership with Jaeger-LeCoultre, as well as with local partners and sponsors.

The Fellowship is open to applied arts and crafts graduates who are looking for the next step on their path to becoming a professional artisan. Fellows must show talent, passion and creativity, while participating master artisans should demonstrate a willingness to train an aspiring artisan and a need to protect their skills. The Fellowship will favour master artisans whose craft has a strong connection to the local area, in an attempt to support cultural heritage.

For the first edition this life-changing opportunity will benefit 20 master artisan and fellow duos based in Europe, with the ambition of reaching other corners of the world in the future. The seven-month Fellowship incorporates a month-long entrepreneurial masterclass developed and certified by ESSEC Business School at Joana Vasconcelos’ studio, in addition to a six-month placement for practical skills acquisition in the workshop of a master artisan. Different experts in their fields, from designers to communication specialists, will provide mentoring advice to the duos during the course of the Fellowship.

Applicants, master artisan and fellow duos, can discover the programme and apply between April and June 2023 on michelangelofoundation.org.


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