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DBIS gives green light to apprenticeship standards for solicitors

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has confirmed that the Apprenticeship Standards for a Solicitor are ready for delivery.

The standards to qualify as a solicitor, paralegal or chartered legal executive were part of a package of 59 apprenticeship standards announced by the Prime Minister last month.

They were developed by a range of law firms, the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Law Society, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Chartered institute of Legal Executives.

The apprenticeship standard for a solicitor and the assessment plan for a solicitor can be viewed here.

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The SRA Board will need to approve the necessary changes to solicitors' training regulations to enable the scheme to be adopted. The Board meets on 9 September.

The first legal trainees could join the ‘Trailblazer’ scheme by as early as September 2016, the SRA said.

SRA chief executive Paul Philip said: "It’s very good news that the Solicitors' Apprenticeship Standard and assessment plan have been approved by DBIS. Opening up the profession through improving alternative routes to qualification can make an important contribution to increasing diversity, so we see this as a positive step forwards."

Gun Judge, Chair of the Trailblazers Legal Committee, and Resourcing Manager at Addleshaw Goddard, said: "There's never been a better time to start a law apprenticeship. The Legal Trailblazer Scheme enhances the alternative to the traditional route into law - opening the doors to a more diverse talent stream entering the profession. Our apprentices create a huge contribution to the firm, and we will be looking to hire more."

The SRA said the standards correspond to the competences set out in the its Competence Statement for solicitors, published on 1 April 2015. The assessment plan requires that all apprentices demonstrate the competences set out in the SRA's Competence Statement.

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