News release

SRA signs up for Trailblazers apprenticeship scheme

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has signed up to play its part in the second phase of a Government scheme that should see a legal apprenticeships programme developed by law firms which can for the first time lead to qualification as a solicitor.

The Department for Business, Skills and Innovation has today (Tuesday 4 March) launched Phase 2 of its Trailblazers Scheme as part of National Apprenticeship Week celebrations. The Trailblazers scheme is aimed at improving apprenticeships by using standards designed by the industry itself.

The apprenticeships are:

  • employer-led and designed so they respond to the needs of the business, to ensure each apprentice has the skills required by the sector
  • focused on quality so the apprentice has to demonstrate their ability through rigorous assessment at the end of their apprenticeship
  • graded on completion – pass, merit, or distinction – to mark the level of achievement

Law is one of the business areas in Phase 2, and the SRA will be working alongside organisations like Addleshaw Goddard, Eversheds, Irwin Mitchell, Pinsent Masons and Wragge & Co, together with BPP, CILEx and the University of Law to develop the standards for Apprentice Trainee Solicitor and Apprentice Trainee Lawyer. Solicitors who qualify through this route will have to demonstrate to the SRA that they meet the same standards as anyone who has come through more traditional paths to qualification.

Julie Brannan, SRA Director of Education and Training, said: "We are delighted to be a part of the Trailblazers higher level legal apprenticeships scheme. It will provide a new way for school-leavers to benefit from education and training, to demonstrate they meet our high standards and to qualify as a solicitor." The Trailblazers Scheme was launched in October 2013 following an independent review of apprenticeships by Doug Richards and a further consultation exercise. Further information on the programme is available here:

Go to the Trailblazer page

Matthew Hancock MP, Minister for Skills and Enterprise, said: "National Apprenticeship Week is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. "We want to see apprenticeships become the new norm for all ambitious young people and employers who are dedicated to growing their own talent and increasing the skills base of the nation. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in Trailblazer for their commitment to apprenticeships and traineeships."

Phase 1 of the scheme covered eight business areas. These were: aerospace; automotive; digital industries; electro-technical; energy & utilities; financial services; food & drink manufacturing, and life science and industrial sciences.

Further information on National Apprenticeship Week is available here:

Go to the National Apprenticeships Week page