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College-leavers start on new legal apprenticeship

Published: 4th October 2013

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THE FIRST college-leavers to be accepted onto Manchester Law School’s ‘apprenticeship’ training route have started their studies.

The School – part of Manchester Metropolitan University – has teamed up with the CILEx Law School to provide new Legal Services Apprenticeships to Pannone, Weightmans, Hill Dickinson and others.

So far, 31 students have been accepted on to the scheme, with further interviews still taking place.

Rachael Cooke said: “I didn’t feel that the traditional University route was for me, so this was by far the best option.”

Combining pathways

The students have been recruited as apprentices by some of the region’s top law firms and released part-time to attend study sessions delivered by Manchester Law School and CILEx Law School.

Earning a salary of £12,000 they will also achieve both technical and competence qualifications awarded by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives within 18 months

18 year-old Maddie Marshall said: “It gives you the chance to gain hands-on experience with a law firm while also getting your qualifications at the same time.”

Olivia Hayes, also 18, said: “It combines the two pathways of work experience and study, especially as it feels like there are not many training contracts and jobs at the moment. This definitely seemed like a better route.”

Exciting opportunity

Senior lecturer Amanda Isles said: “Level Three Advanced Apprenticeships in Legal Services are a great new opportunity for those embarking on a career in law, to work while they learn. As apprentices they will undertake on the job learning in a law firm and be assessed in the workplace as well as completing more traditional learning in the classroom.

“Uniquely, the apprenticeship delivered by MMU and CILEx Law School additionally gives the apprentices the opportunity to study elements of the first year of an LLB (law degree).

“The apprentices were extremely keen and excited about the opportunity to be able to learn, earn and contextualise their learning in a practical working environment.”

Emma Holt, Managing Partner at Pannone said training school-leavers as paralegals was not only a superb opportunity for individuals but played a vital part in delivering legal services in a rapidly-changing profession.

Jenny Pelling, Business Director at CILEx Law School agreed: “There’s considerable momentum now in the legal sector around apprenticeships. This Level 3 Apprenticeship is proving ideal for both school leavers, who are deciding to get straight into the workplace, and for firms who are tapping into a pool of talented young people.”

The scheme has been initiated by Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the first business organisation to successfully bid for legal skills funding through the Employer Ownership of Skills scheme.

Picture caption: Joanne Urmston and Amanda Isles, from MMU, apprentices Rachael Cooke, Lucy Smith, Olivia Hayes, Emily Hemlin, Maddie Marshall, Lucy Bibby, Laura Edie and Alice Robinson, and Nicola Goodman from CILEx Law School.