New online portal for legal services careers

Legal services careers will soon have a new online portal after two sector skills councils merge.

The Financial Skills Partnership (FSP) will merge with Skills for Justice, the body responsible for the training and development of lawyers and legal support staff from 1 April, subject to final approvals.

FSP’s online careers portal Directions will be extended to cover legal services careers, although the date of the extension is not yet known. The current careers portal for legal services may be closed; the decision will be taken in consultation with legal employers.

The merger reflects the changes wrought on the industry by the 2007 Legal Services Act.

CEO of Skills for Justice Alan Woods, who will continue as CEO after 1 April, said: “We are very happy indeed to be announcing this merger. For both the financial and legal sectors, it is a win-win situation, with the potential for all employers to become more competitive through visionary, progressive skills strategies.”

The financial and legal sectors represent 14 per cent of UK GDP, contributing £175bn across domestic and international activity in 2010, employing over two million individuals.

Sir Duncan Nichol, who continues as chair of Skills for Justice and group chair of the merged group, added: “Ensuring ample provision of skills that are relevant, up-to-date and transferable will also help unlock the potential of the many smaller and medium-sized firms and companies that form the backbone of both sectors, help them to grow and thereby help their sector as a whole to thrive and expand.”

Earlier this month, Skills for Justice passed new industry standards for legal services (3 January 2012).