Manchester Met comes to the rescue of jobless Halliwells trainees

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Law School is offering a new funding scheme, which may offer a ray of hope to jobless Halliwells trainees.

The law school is offering unemployed law graduates £1,000 if they can secure a four-week placement at any firm in the country.

The law school’s business development manager Deborah Walker said: “The guys that have been let go at Halliwells have already been offered training contracts so they’re the crème-de-la crème and therefore stand a very good chance of being offered another position.”

More than £300,000 has been allocated to the university from The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to help various unemployed graduates from a broad range of subject areas find work placements and the law school has managed to secure a pot of money from the funding.

Walker has insisted that candidates need not have had any link with the university or law school to be eligible for the funding.

“Basically, we’re going to give the law firm some funding so that they can take on promising unemployed law graduates – at no cost to themselves – and try before they buy,” added Walker.

The news comes after HBJ Gateley Wareing, which is taking over the bulk of Halliwells’ Manchester operations, confirmed that it will not be offering any positions to the seven prospective trainees who were set to begin at the firm’s Manchester office next month.

The failed firm was due to have 17 trainees join across the all its offices next month, with another 17 expected to join in January 2011 and another 17 in June 2011.

Elsewhere, Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) has made offers to five first-year trainees and will be retaining seven second-year trainees who are due to qualify in September. However, BLG will be not be taking on any of Halliwells’ future trainees and it still remains unclear how many existing trainees will move over to HBJ.