PlusNet recruits from call centres to launch legal apprenticeships, mulls training contract launch

The internet service provider PlusNet has established a legal apprenticeship programme, taking members of its call centre into its legal team.

Two former call centre workers have been recruited as apprentices, one of whom has now transferred to begin a training contract with parent company BT.

The Internet service provider currently recruits between 10 and 12 graduates every year to join its business, all of whom spend some time in its call centre both before joining head office and during their time at PlusNet.

It will now offer graduate roles in its legal and compliance team and hopes to be able to offer training contracts in the near future by leveraging BT’s central legal function in order to provide a contentious seat.

PlusNet general counsel Sarah Binder told Lawyer 2B: “We’re just in the process of formalising our scheme at the moment. The first person we recruited from the call centre to join our team has now obtained a training contract with our parent company BT.”

Binder explained the rationale behind PlusNet recruiting from its call centre, reasoning that its approach to customer service was its USP and that its legal function needed people with that experience. 

The Yorkshire-based company is also partnering with the University of Sheffield to offer in-house work experience and so target graduates in the region. It will recruit two interns from the university’s crop of second and third year undergraduates and Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC) students.

Binder added: “In-house legal departments offer a breadth of work. We are a reasonably small team doing compliance and legal and people can get a breadth of experience here. Understanding how business and legal interacts is helpful not only for in-house counsel but for private practice lawyers too.”

Several in-house legal teams began offering in-house apprenticeships lately with the BBC and the London Borough of Hillingdon both launching schemes last year.

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