Corlia Roberts Diamond Education Institute

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Institute’s online courses fare well

Training organisation Corlia Roberts Institute of Diamonds has added a gold and precious metals course, as well as a second-hand and estate jewellery course, to its roster.
The courses aim to assist working professionals in the diamond industry in honing new skills and applying expert knowledge to their businesses.
“Our research team identified a gap in the market; many jewellers could evaluate polished diamonds, but lacked the soft skills necessary to sell them,” explains institute founder Corlia Roberts.

The institute also intends to launch a course next year to assist professionals in overcoming the social challenges associated with a buyer’s market.
Roberts tells Mining Weekly that the economic impact of Covid-19 on the diamond sector did not affect the number of students enrolled in the institute’s online courses.
“Interest in the diamond trading industry has not been as gravely affected as we had initially expected,” she says.

Growing economic concerns meant that a slowdown in diamond sales was expected, since it became necessary for the public to cut back on luxury spending.
“It seemed at the time that, with shops closed, the diamond trading industry was in trouble. However, as the initial panic settled, interest was revived and the public became more comfortable with e-commerce,” Roberts explains, adding that as the demand for luxury spend stabilised, so did demand for training.
She speculates that the “high heel index” theory could explain this phenomenon. The theory suggests that consumers turn to more flamboyant fashions as a source of comfort during times of stressful instability.
With demand secure and stable, Roberts says the institute is optimistic about continued interest in diamond training, although some adjustments are to be expected, owing to Covid-19 restrictions.

Roberts explains that the institute’s digital learning platform was being developed when it realised there was an urgency for online courses and virtual classrooms.
“We took a holistic approach while designing our digital platform, with flexible hours and self-paced learning. Our team stayed positive while maintaining a highly interactive 24-hour chat support,” she says, adding that the “digital campus” was successful.

Roberts notes that the majority of the people trained at the institute are already self- employed or are starting their own businesses.
“We provide the knowledge and skills to successfully manage a diamond trading business, a diamond or jewellery manufacturing company, or a jewellery store. These businesses contribute to the industry’s value chain, ultimately, benefiting the economy.”
Several trainees are applying their trade in the diamond mining sector, and Roberts says the institute has trained numerous employees from mining entities such as diversified mining major Rio Tinto, and Angolan diamond mine Catoca, among others, over the past 20 years.
Edited by Nadine James Features Deputy Editor – Mining Weekly


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