Thomas Eggar launches CILEx apprenticeship scheme

Thomas Eggar has become the latest law firm to launch an apprenticeship program for school leavers, with the successful applicant turning down a place at university to take up the offer.

From September, 18-year-old Danielle Owen will work within the commercial property management department of the firm’s Gatwick office, and will eventually qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive after completing her CILEx Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Legal Services.

She said: “When the opportunity at Thomas Eggar came up I applied immediately. I had a conditional offer at a university but I knew it wasn’t for me. I’ve always been forward thinking and, knowing that so many university graduates are unemployed, I wanted to earn a salary and gain a qualification at the same time.”

Gemma Lawrence, a Chartered Legal Executive at Thomas Eggar who will act as Owen’s mentor, commented: “The CILEx apprenticeship scheme is an attractive choice for career-minded A level students who want the academic training, without the cost of university and while gaining practical work experience. We were really impressed with the candidates we interviewed and we look forward to strengthening and developing our teams with this pilot scheme.”

“I am looking forward to being an inspiring mentor having followed a similar route myself into law. I created my own informal apprenticeship route at Thomas Eggar 15 years ago after my A levels: I started as a junior secretary with an agreement to start a sponsored CILEx qualification within two years. All went well and I qualified as a CILEx Fellow in 2005.”