A group of London boroughs are to offer ten legal services apprenticeships through a new partnership with the University of Law.
Participating organisations include HB Public Law (the shared legal service for Harrow and Barnet), Hillingdon and Islington. The announcement was made as part of National Apprenticeship Week.
Under the scheme technical training and the completion of Chartered Institute of Legal Executives qualifications will be combined with on-the-job learning.
Apprentices will receive one day per week of formal learning at the University of Law’s Bloomsbury Centre with teaching from tutors at City and Islington College, a partner FE College. On the other days students will work in the legal services departments at their local authority.
“Apprentices will be evaluated through a mix of on the job performance and academic assessments, all designed to develop the skills and qualities that future employers are looking for and the apprentices will need to succeed,” the University of Law said.
Rajesh Alagh, Borough Solicitor at Hillingdon, said: “We’re very pleased to be working with The University of Law on this exciting new apprenticeship. The council's legal apprenticeship scheme has already been a great success with apprentices showing great enthusiasm and dedication so we are pleased to be able to extend this through our partnership with ULaw for another two years.
“It will allow our apprentices to progress to a Higher Level Apprenticeship (Level 4), which is the equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to develop essential work based skills while studying for a nationally recognised qualification with the UK's largest law school.”
John Latham, President and CEO ULaw, said; “As leading employers in the capital, it’s great to have London boroughs on board. We are passionate about widening access to support those whose ambition it is to work in the law and we’ve created an ambitious plan to deliver on this.”
Public services law firm Bevan Brittan is meanwhile to recruit four legal apprentices in its Bristol, Birmingham and London offices, it has been announced.
Recruits will join the firm in September 2015 and be placed in the employment, property, clinical risk and litigation teams.
They will follow the Advanced Apprenticeship in Legal Services, each following a pathway relevant to their role, with training delivered by CILEx Law School.
Bevan Brittan is to offer work experience in the summer to sixth form pupils in their local areas as a pipeline for recruitment in future years.
Mai O’Sullivan, HR Director at Bevan Brittan, said: “Legal apprenticeships are an ideal vehicle to deliver legal knowledge specific to an employee’s role. We welcome the opportunity provided by this new training route to recruit local young people and to develop them into successful lawyers.”
Jenny Pelling, Business Director, CILEx Law School said: “ Civil litigation apprenticeships have been the most popular selection by organisations to date, but it’s good to see Bevan Brittan taking on apprentices in property and employment as well as litigation. I’m impressed by their commitment to developing legal practitioners of the future through this route.”