With National Apprenticeship Week starting on Monday 11th March, national law firm Weightmans LLP has confirmed it is to offer four legal apprenticeship positions, including the first vacancies nationally for the new Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services.
Weightmans is creating two brand new positions within the firm for higher apprentices and is also recruiting internally for two candidates to follow the Intermediate Apprenticeship in Legal Administration.
The undergraduate level Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services will be officially launched on 11th March. It is part of a wider Government initiative to create more higher level vocational qualifications, increasing access to sectors, such as law, where graduate entry has been the norm. The Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Service offers an alternative route into the legal profession; allowing candidates to become qualified whilst working within a law firm full time; receiving regular training, course materials and assessment as well as valuable vocational experience and exposure.
Sarah Hardy-Pickering, Learning and Development Manager at Weightmans said:
“We are delighted to be the first law firm to sign up to offer these higher apprenticeship opportunities, this is a great initiative that will prove very popular within the industry - I imagine many firms will be right behind us in offering this qualification.
“At Weightmans we are committed to supporting new, alternative routes into law and attracting and retaining the best talent. Increasing university fees may be a deterrent to some young people who have the potential to become excellent lawyers. These new apprenticeships give them a chance to work towards that dream career they thought out of reach.”
All tuition, materials and assessment for the firm’s Level 4 Higher Apprenticeships will be provided by specialists Damar Training.
Minister for Skills, Matthew Hancock MP said:
“Apprenticeships deliver and I am delighted that Weightmans has seized the opportunity presented by the new Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services. University is not for everyone - this new apprenticeship widens the talent pool available to law firms and will help enhance their competitiveness and the service they offer to their clients. I look forward to seeing many more employers in the legal sector offering higher apprenticeships over the coming months.”
The successful candidates are expected to join Weightmans’ Liverpool office in May, and the firm has a view to expand the programme further over the coming years, says Sarah:
“We are really looking forward to welcoming the apprentices on board; whilst an initial two positions are offered, in time we aim to have apprentice positions filled in every office nationwide.
“For too long the pathway into a rewarding legal career has been very narrow. We’re looking forward to opening more doors for more ambitious young people.”