Industry to benefit from government funding for new Legal Services Higher Apprenticeship

Lead by Pearson in Practice with The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), Damar Training and Skills for Justice the legal services industry has secured almost £1m of Government funding to create 750 Higher Apprenticeships by March 2015.

The Higher Apprenticeship will offer work-based learning qualifications such as a Level 4 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills, as well as knowledge-based, technical qualifications equivalent to a Foundation Degree.

With increasing demand for talented and qualified paralegals, added to the well published increase in tuition fees likely to see a more competitive market for graduates, the Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services will target young people with enthusiasm for a paralegal career but who have chosen not to pursue a degree. The programme is expected to attract hundreds of new, young and talented people to the industry - talent that the employers previously could have missed out on.

Fiona McBride, CEO of Pearson in Practice, said: "We welcome the Government’s continued emphasis on higher level Apprenticeships as a true and credible alternative to university education and are pleased to be able to bring this into the legal services sector. It reveals what we believe is a shift in public opinion about the value of vocational learning and demonstrates a widespread understanding of the important role that Apprenticeships play in setting young people on the path towards not just a job, but a sustainable and fulfilling career."

Diane Burleigh, Chief Executive of CILEx, said: "We’re delighted to receive approval for this project. It will extend our ability to support law firms to invest in their future and current employees by capitalising on the skills and qualifications they already have. It will offer paralegals greater opportunities for career development. It will support the quality assurance of legal services. We very much look forward to working on this exciting new opportunity for vocational learning in law with our partners."

Jonathan Bourne, Managing Director of Damar Training, commented: "The qualification will be designed to meet the needs of the growing paralegal workforce and allows firms to fully integrate apprenticeships into their paralegal career structures. It will create exciting opportunities for many bright, ambitious people who will then go on to generate real value for their employers and clients."

Alan Woods OBE, Chief Executive, Skills for Justice, said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with CILEx, Pearson In Practice and Damar Training to create 750 higher apprenticeships in the Legal Service sector. We feel this project will be a game changer in terms of how firms recruit and retain talent to deliver high quality legal services and remain competitive in these difficult economic times. The opportunities this will deliver for young people wanting to enter the sector straight from school is unprecedented."

The new level 4 Higher Apprenticeship will help firms recruit and develop, the knowledge and skills of their paralegals who have either already completed levels 2 and 3 or are non-law graduates. Specialist technical pathways will be created, including personal injury, commercial litigation and debt recovery.

If you want to learn more about the Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Services, a celebration and awareness event including quest speaker Baroness Helena Kennedy QC is being held at the Pearson head office in London on Wednesday 4th July from 6.30pm. visit here to register.


  • Apprenticeships offer a structured training programme 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
  • 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 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
  • 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 and on Twitter @DamarTraining.
  • The funding comes from a second raft of Government funding for Higher Apprenticeships, more information can be found here:
  • David Way, Chief Executive of the National Apprenticeship Service said:
    "The expansion of the Higher Apprenticeships underpins our commitment to raising the quality of Apprenticeships.
    "By working with the legal services industry, Pearson in Practice is opening up recruitment and training to young apprentices. Young people and their parents can see clear opportunities to climb the jobs ladder right to the top through taking up Apprenticeships."

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