Legal profession gets £1m funding for apprenticeships

The legal sector is set to benefit from a £1m cash injection from the Government to create 750 apprenticeships by March 2015.

The Legal Services Higher Apprenticeship, which is being lead by Pearson in Practice along with The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), Damar Training and Skills for Justice, plans to target young people looking to kick-start a legal career without undertaking a degree. 

Pearson CEO Fiona McBride said: “We welcome the Government’s continued emphasis on higher level apprenticeships as a true and credible alternative to university education and are pleased to be able to bring this into the legal sector.”

The government-funded apprenticeship scheme is announced in response to an increasing demand for talented and qualified paralegals. The scheme will offer a range of work-based learning qualifications such as a Level 4 competence qualification, functional skills as well as knowledge-based, technical qualifications equivalent to a foundation degree.

“The opportunities this will deliver for young people wanting to enter the sector straight from school is unprecedented,” added Skills for Justice chief executive Alan Woods.“We feel the project will be a game changer in terms of how firms recruit and retain talent to deliver high quality legal services and remain competitive in these difficult economic times.”

The news follows Skills for Justice announcing last year its plans to create a recognised paralegal apprenticeship framework with the aid of a number of law firms and other members of the legal profession by April 2013 (2 November 2011).