Paralegal apprenticeship standards undergo UK-wide consultation

Skills for Justice is launching a UK-wide consultation for the draft of paralegal apprenticeship National Occupational Standards (NOS), with the full framework expected to be developed from July 2012, and approved by April 2013.

The charitable organisation, which helps the profession with workforce needs, is working to create national standards to sit at the heart of a structured apprenticeship programme for the legal services sector (2 November 2011).

The first set of draft NOS was completed by May 2012, and will go out for consultation later this month (June). Once approved in August, the standards can be used to support a variety of HR processes.

Meanwhile the pathways for the apprenticeship framework for paralegal roles are to be developed from July, and approved by April 2013. The first commercial paralegal national apprentices will be employed in July 2013.

The apprenticeship framework update has also confirmed the level of support the Government’s National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) will provide for training legal apprentices and delivering the mandatory components of the framework.

For apprentices aged between 16 and18 the NAS will cover 100 per cent of the training costs, while 19 to 24 year olds will receive up to 50 per cent.

Elsewhere the framework dictates a number of key components the apprenticeships must include to qualify for funding, such as certain assessments and guided learning hours.

Salaries will sit at the National Minimum Wage level of £2.60 per hour, however it is expected that employers will pay ‘significantly more than this’.

In the paper it states: “As skills develop and employers aim to recruit high calibre apprentices, many will pay significantly more than this. In fact research suggests that apprentices earn an average of £170 net pay per week.”