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Apprenticeships are becoming more and more popular, with 2019 seeing a rise in the number of apprenticeships across the UK.
The legal profession adopted apprenticeships in 2016, with a scheme called Trailblazer. The scheme allows students to sign up straight from school, entering the programme which usually runs for five to six years. It enables them to undertake work-based learning and complete an assessment equalling a solicitor qualification.
The qualification is particularly attractive to students due to increasingly expensive university tuition fees. The apprenticeship scheme helps students avoid university debts and earn as they learn. As well as this it enables students to:
The introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) by the SRA only looks to increase the attraction of legal apprenticeships. As the SRA will no longer specify routes to admission to becoming a solicitor, all those entering the profession with take the same SQE exam. This not only ensures consistency and high standards but eradicates the notion that one route to qualification is better than another.
There are many benefits for the employer as well as the student in hiring apprentices. The Law University highlights that it is more than just attracting new talent. For example, the scheme can help employers:
BCLP found their apprenticeship scheme to be a positive addition to their firm, noting that it:
If you are considering adopting an apprenticeship scheme in your firm, LexisPSL offers practice notes outlining your legal obligations and giving guidance on setting up your scheme.
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Hannah is one of the Future of Law blog’s digital and technical editors. She graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in History and Politics and previously freelanced for News UK, before working as a senior news editor for LexisNexis.
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