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Kennedys kicks off largest legal apprenticeship round

New legal apprentices will complete an intermediate apprenticeship in legal administration in their first year

13 September 2012

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Ten legal apprentices will start work at Kennedys’ offices across England later this month in what is thought to be the largest recognised legal apprenticeship programme in the country.

The scheme, which offers an alternative route into the profession, is being run in partnership with specialist legal apprenticeship provider Damar Training and ILEX Tutorial College (ITC).

Most of the apprentices completed their A levels earlier this summer and will avoid the cost of university by taking a vocational route into the profession.

“We already employ many high achieving individuals who have chosen to enter the law using an alternative route and hope that the Legal Apprenticeship scheme will further reinforce Kennedys’ commitment to attracting a diverse range of talented lawyers,” said Kennedys’ HR advisor Emma Phipps.

Apprentice Christopher Helme, 18, from Glossop in Derbyshire, said he was attracted to the apprenticeship because it offers a real alternative to the university route and the opportunity to work at a top law firm.

Helme will work in Kennedys’ Sheffield office and has calculated that he will save up to £50,000 in debt by taking a vocational route into the profession.

“With an apprenticeship I have the opportunity to acquire practical skills and real work experience alongside qualifications. I feel so privileged to have been given this opportunity,” he said.

The apprenticeship includes a blend of workplace-based training and assessment designed to develop knowledge and understanding of the legal environment as well as administrative skills.

A more specialist, higher level legal apprenticeship is currently in development and Kennedys envisages it will offer this programme to the new apprentices once they’ve completed their first year.

Jonathan Bourne from Damar said: “Apprenticeships provide an opportunity for firms to attract high-quality applicants right out of school and shape them to their firm’s ethos”.

The Kennedy’s apprenticeship programme is one of a number of work-based learning training models that have launched recently.

Jenny Pelling from ITC said it was “yet more evidence of the appetite within the legal services’ market for apprenticeships and vocational learning”.

She went on to point out that the latest discussion paper from the on-going Legal Education and Training Review included comments on the need to blend work-based learning with vocational training.

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