BBC and ITV become first in-house organisations to launch ‘Trailblazer’ apprenticeships

ITV has launched an apprenticeship that will allow participants to qualify as a solicitor, becoming the first organisation to officially go ahead with the government’s Trailblazer scheme.

The University of Law launched its ’Articled Apprenticeship’ last year, which also leads to qualification as a solicitor, but that is essentially a repackaging of the law degree, LPC and training contract and is not government-sponsored.

The Trailblazer apprenticeship is an unrelated, government-backed scheme which sees students combine work and study. There are three different Trailblazer routes for law, leading to qualification either as a paralegal, legal executive or solicitor. Details of how it will be assessed were revealed by the government in September.

ITV is seeking one apprentice to work in London. On successful completion of five years of the programme they will receive a degree from City University London. The broadcaster is partnering with the university and with CILEx Law School to deliver the programme.

Assuming they stay the course, the apprentice will eventually qualify as a solicitor.

ITV general counsel Andrew Garard said: “We are delighted to be the first in-house legal department to embrace the new Solicitor Apprenticeship scheme. We see the new apprenticeship route as a great opportunity to create solicitors who know ITV’s business inside out at the point of qualification. This can only enhance our quest to make our lawyers true business partners.”

If it is approved, apprentices would have to take the SRA’s proposed final super-exam for all intending solicitors, announced yesterday, before they could qualify.

Meanwhile, the BBC has also partnered with CILEx to launch its own Trailblazer apprenticeship, but leading to qualification as a paralegal rather than a solicitor. It is seeking four individuals for the two-year course, with a starting salary of approximately £12,000.

As revealed by Lawyer 2B, the BBC launched its own training contracts in January this year.


7 Dec 15: SRA proposes final ‘super-exam’ at point of qualification

3 Sep 15: Exams, ethics and roleplay: government reveals more details of solicitor apprenticeship route

12 Jan 15: BBC launches training contracts

3 Nov 14: University of Law launches articled apprenticeships

20 Aug 14: Government approves standards allowing apprentices to qualify as solicitors

25 Jun 13: Revealed at last: details of the Legal Education and Training Review