The development of the Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services is gathering momentum with the launch of a new website designed to inform potential higher apprentices, their parents and advisers about this new vocational route into a career in law. The new site is www.legalhigherapprenticeships.com/learners.
The project to develop the Higher Apprenticeship is being led by Pearson in Practice with The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), Damar Training and Skills for Justice. It means that, for the first time, people in England will be able to follow an apprenticeship pathway to becoming a qualified fee-earner or "paralegal" within the legal sector. Because of changes in the way law firms conduct business, the number of paralegals is expected to grow by at least 18% by 2017, creating several thousand new jobs at this level.
The first higher apprentices will start when the qualification goes live in March 2013. As well as benefitting new entrants to the sector, the Higher Apprenticeship will also allow some existing staff within law firms to up-skill and gain nationally recognised qualifications.
Jonathan Bourne, Managing Director of Damar Training, commented on behalf of the project partners:
“The recent news that the number of British undergraduates starting at English universities this year is down by 51,000 underlines the need for challenging vocational alternatives. With over 70 law firms now engaged in this project we are confident that the legal apprenticeship pathway will provide many ambitious young people with an opportunity to build a career in law without any student debt.”
To learn more about the Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services please visit www.legalhigherapprenticeships.com/learners and register for updates. A number of free events for schools and sixth form colleges are being held in October and November – register on the website to receive details.
Notes for editors:
- Apprenticeships offer a structured programme of work, training and assessment for both existing employees and new starters, with more than 100,000 employers currently running a scheme. Research by the National Apprenticeship Service shows that 77% of employers who already have apprentices believe they make them more competitive and 88% believe that they lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.
- Pearson in Practice delivers outstanding professional technical learning and development. We change lives, businesses and economies by providing high quality, industry-specific training and qualifications. This is achieved through apprenticeships, work-based, technical and specialised training programmes.
We give people the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours that lead to successful jobs and careers. We also help businesses and other organisations to build skills, improve efficiency, increase productivity and gain competitive edge. For more information please visit www.pearsoninpractice.com
- The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives is the professional and representative body for around 20,000 trainee and practising Chartered Legal Executive lawyers across England and Wales. For more information about the CILEX route, visit our website www.cilexcareers.org.uk. Since 1989, over 92,500 people have pursued a successful career in law through vocational learning with The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. The Chartered Institute is unique in being a non-graduate route to qualification as a lawyer, although graduates are welcomed and the Graduate Fast Track Diploma gives law graduates intending to practice law a more affordable and viable alternative to the LPC. Follow us: @CILExLawyers Become a fan: facebook. Read our blog: CILEx Lawyers
- Skills for Justice is the Sector Skills Council for the Legal Services sector. We operates across the UK, with offices in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, working with a variety of employers in Justice related sectors including Custodial Care, Policing and Law Enforcement, Fire and Rescue, Offender Management, Courts, Tribunals and Prosecution, Forensic Science, Victim, Survivor and Witness Support, Local and Central Government and the Armed Forces. Employers can benefit from our expertise, quality products and services by joining our new membership scheme. www.skillsforjustice.com
- Damar Training is a specialist provider of apprenticeship recruitment and training, with many years’ experience of working with employers in the legal sector. Damar provides law firms with an end to end recruitment and training service, matching them with quality apprentice employees and then delivering a tailored package of training and assessment. For many non-graduate apprentices, training is fully or partially funded by the Government. Follow Damar on the web at www.damartraining.com and on Twitter @DamarTraining.
- The funding for the development of the Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services comes from a second raft of Government funding for Higher Apprenticeships, more information can be found here: http://www.bis.gov.uk.
- The 18% growth in “paralegal” numbers referred to above is taken from Welsh & Aitchison (2012) ‘Findings from research on ‘Paralegals’ employed in the Legal sector and related employer Apprenticeship ambition.’ Skills for Justice, Sheffield. 83% of respondents to the survey on which this paper is based stated that they were interested in employing ‘paralegal’ apprentices over the next year.