Blog

Raising awareness of the legal apprenticeship

By Liz Walters, Policy Associate, 16 November 2015

After their hard work getting the legal apprenticeships approved by government earlier this year, the Legal Trailblazer Employer Group has moved onto raising awareness of the benefits of the scheme to other firms and employers.

On 6 November, Julie Brannan and I attended the Group's event hosted by DWF. Representatives from Withers, Addleshaw Goddard and Kennedy’s were all there to explain to employers what’s involved in running an apprenticeship and how to get started.

For me, the highlight of the event was the input from two impressive young women, who want to qualify as solicitors through the Trailblazer apprenticeship route after they have completed their Level 3 Apprenticeship in Legal Services. They really valued the opportunity to earn while they learn, avoiding the debt that going to university brings. They admitted that balancing work and academic study could be challenging. But, thanks to the structured support from their employer, it was manageable and the range of practical experience they were gaining made it worth it. The experience will certainly give them a real advantage in a competitive jobs market.

Julie said a few words on behalf of the SRA. She emphasised that we don't want a system where good people can't afford to train a solicitor. There is no tension between broadening access and high standards. On the contrary, a system where the most talented people can qualify, from the widest social background and regardless of their physical characteristics, strengthens the profession and enhances the high standards which protect consumers.

The solicitor apprenticeship provides a brand new and exciting way to train as a solicitor and, as the apprenticeship is based on the Statement of Solicitor Competence, apprentices will reach the same high standard as all solicitors.

You can find out more about the apprenticeships here:

Apprenticeship standards employers guide (PDF 3 pages, 78K)

Apprenticeship standard: solicitor