Co-op rolls out legal apprenticeship programme

Co-operative Legal Services’ (CLS) is launching a legal apprenticeship framework as part of its assault on the profession.

The new framework, which will sit within the Co-operative Group’s (Co-op) Apprenticeship Academy, will look to appoint up to 10 apprentices in 2012.

The move is aimed to help boost the number of Co-op apprentices by five times in a bid to appoint a total of 800 apprentices across its business next year.

Managing director of CLS Eddie Ryan said: “The Co-op Legal Services has always intended to work towards providing apprenticeships in line with out legal roles and with the development of a legal apprenticeship framework taking place this year we look forward to including this as an option in 2013.”

The Co-op Group operates apprenticeships in a wide range of areas that include food, pharmacy, motors, financial services, farming, IT and HR.

The announcement comes following CLS applying to become an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) and launching its biggest ever recruitment drive at its Bristol operation and new family law unit in London (12 January 2012).

As reported exclusively by Lawyer 2B, CLS also announced last year that it was looking to offer training contracts in a push to enter the family law arena (30 November 2011). 

The creation of a legal apprenticeship programme is in support of Skills for Justice formal paralegal framework, which now has between 20 and 25 law firms signed up.

The news arrives following the launch of two new legal apprenticeship programmes with Kennedys and BPP Law School.

Kennedys is offering an annual salary of between £14,000 and £18,000 to school leavers who take part in its three-year apprenticeship scheme (6 February 2012). The details of BPP Law School’s programme are yet to be confirmed.