100 apprenticeships offered across North West for budding legal eagles

The Manchester Law Society, Damar Training and the National Apprenticeship Service have joined forces to create 100 new apprenticeships in the legal sector for young people in 2012.

The apprenticeship vacancies are expected to cover a range of job roles including paralegals, legal administrators, junior clerks and legal cashiers. Damar Training, based in Stockport, is already working with 40 law firms in the region and is also working with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, Skills for Justice and others to develop further specialist qualifications for the sector.

North-West firms including Bermans, Chafes, Cobbetts, Horwich Farrelly, Kennedys, Linder Myers, Olliers, Pabla & Pabla, St Johns Buildings, Shoosmiths and Tranters have already recruited apprentices and the Manchester Law Society is hoping that their positive experiences will help to raise awareness to both prospective law firms and learners.

Fran Eccles-Bech, executive director at the Manchester Law Society, said: “Apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly important part of the recruitment and training offer for solicitors’ firms and barristers’ chambers in the region. We have a vibrant legal sector and there is a great opportunity to drive forward the number of apprenticeships available to local young people.

“Our work with Damar Training and the National Apprenticeship Service will help to raise the profile of apprenticeships in the legal sector and we aim to create at least 100 new apprenticeship places for young people during 2012.”

Jonathan Bourne, managing director of Damar Training, said: “The development of a high quality apprenticeship offer for the legal sector is something we have been heavily involved with for some time. I am pleased that so many firms are recognising the benefits that apprenticeships can bring. As well as offering a flexible, nationally recognised development pathway for staff there are significant benefits in terms of better retention, access to a more diverse workforce and lower recruitment costs.”

“At a time when the costs of following the traditional academic route into the profession are increasing, apprenticeships offer a real alternative. It is worth remembering too that law firms have opportunities in a range of areas, marketing and HR for example, and so there is a really exciting range of options for young people.”

Mr Bourne added: “Apprenticeship programmes can be tailored to suit individual firms’ priorities. Even better, Government funding can cover much if not all of the costs. For many smaller and mid-sized firms that are new to apprenticeships additional grant funding of £1,500 per head is currently available too.”

Pabla and Pabla is one firm that has employed apprentices for several years now. Senior Partner Kiran Pabla commented: “A particular benefit for us has been the very good retention rate. I am delighted to say that some of our apprentices have now progressed into fee-earning roles. The apprentices that we have recruited are hard working and dedicated to taking the next step on the career ladder.”

Law firms and young people interested in finding out more information about the apprenticeships can contact Damar Training on 0161 480 8171 or the Manchester Law Society by email at apprenticeships@manchesterlawsociety.org.uk

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