A North East law firm is backing the region’s youngsters with the development of a unique work placement to build their professional skills, ensuring they are work-ready on completing their education.
Gordon Brown Law Firm, which has offices in Newcastle and Chester-le-Street, has worked closely with Excelsior Academy in Scotswood, Newcastle, to shape an internship which will add value to its courses and help students understand how businesses operate.
The internship provides a strong grounding in all areas of Gordon Brown within the law, marketing and HR departments, across two half-days per week. This allows the intern to experience a real business environment while continuing studies at the Academy.
Habeeba Haque, 17, has taken up the first internship at the law firm alongside studying for her AS Levels at Excelsior Academy, for which she also receives a paid wage.
She said: “I began my role at the end of November and I feel I’ve already learned a great deal. It’s exciting being able to establish myself independently in both a professional and academic sense.
“I’ve enjoyed working across different departments and in particular, so far, specialising in family law. For example, by carrying out research into changing a birth certificate, I was able to support on a family case which I found really interesting – it’s certainly something I can see myself pursuing a career in further.”
Deb Tweedy, HR manager at Gordon Brown, said: “We are very proud to have developed a unique internship programme with such a forward-thinking organisation as Excelsior Academy, who are right on our doorstep.
“The result is a rewarding, self-sufficient initiative that will provide young people like Habeeba with an invaluable insight into the commercial workplace and the wider legal industry – ultimately improving their future employability.
“We’re committed to addressing unemployment figures in the North East and will continue to forge strong links with local schools and colleges.”