Equality matters: Weightmans signs up to UK Legal Apprenticeship Pledge
National law firm Weightmans has joined forces with 25 other firms to sign a pledge recognising apprenticeships as an equal pathway into a career in…
National law firm Weightmans has joined forces with 25 other firms to sign a pledge recognising apprenticeships as an equal pathway into a career in the legal industry.
The UK Legal Apprenticeship Pledge outlines that firms must demonstrate the same commitment to apprenticeships as to more traditional paths to qualification, such as training contracts, as well as ensure that solicitor apprentices are treated in the same way as their peers.
All firms have pledged to collaborate in driving forward the adoption of legal apprenticeships within the sector, as well as providing career, networking and other opportunities to apprentices. The pledge was first launched by Norton Rose Fulbright.
Weightmans was the first law firm in the country to offer higher legal services apprenticeships when they became available in 2013.
The firm currently has 32 solicitor apprentices (both degree and graduate), 4 paralegal apprentices and 7 CILEX apprentices, working in offices across the UK and departments such as Litigation, Corporate and Regulatory. The apprentices rotate across teams over the course of the apprenticeship to broaden their experience, and they study with the BPP University Law School.
Weightmans’ HR Director Helen Taylor said: “Our people are integral to the future success of the firm, and we take the investment into their skills and development incredibly seriously. Our original apprenticeship programme, launched almost 10 years ago, was a game-changer for the industry and we are delighted to have this year welcomed our second cohort to our solicitor degree apprenticeship.
“It goes without saying that our apprentices are considered equals with those on the more traditional route into law, and that as an industry its crucial we embrace all routes to qualification in order to truly diversify. Signing this pledge is another way in which we are pleased to highlight this commitment.”
Full details of the UK Legal Apprenticeship Pledge can be found here.