A North East law firm has become the first in the region to offer an apprenticeship programme creating an alternative post-A-Level route into a legal career.
Gordon Brown Law Firm, which has offices in Newcastle and Chester-le-Street, says it wants to grow the next generation of young legal talent though delivering two apprenticeships to people aged 18-23 during 2014.
Created by Damar Training, the programme offers a debt-free alternative to a career in law, combining a paid job with the training, assessment and study required to meet the standard expected in the legal field.
By the end of their placements, the apprentices will have acquired a nationally recognised legal qualification, awarded by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX).
While apprenticeships are generally only available to support younger people and those without qualifications higher than A Level, the Damar Legal Programme can be opened up to people of all ages and credentials.
Deb Tweedy, HR manager at Gordon Brown Law Firm, said: “It actually allows the apprentices to follow a career path which will afford them with the relevant skills and experience that are closely linked to the industry and the needs of the client.
“We are also delighted to advise that a further two employees - one from the residential conveyancing arm of the business and the other from the HR team - will have the opportunity to go on to complete a paralegal course in residential conveyancing and employment law respectively, following completion of an NVQ 2 in Business Administration.”
She added that the firm’s team came from a variety of backgrounds and understood the importance of hard work and dedication.
“Our apprentices will gain invaluable experience through training and assessment and build for the future from day one,” she said.
“North East unemployment figures are still a big challenge and we should not underestimate the youth employment situation. Here at Gordon Brown Law Firm we plan to work with local schools and colleges to support the regional economy and encourage a generation of youngsters to aim for a career in law.”
Jonathan Bourne from Damar Training said: “A legal apprenticeship with Damar means real, paid work, combined with training that leads to nationally recognised qualifications and a debt-free route to a career in the law.”