SRA and CLC to develop BIS apprenticeship

The SRA and CLC have both announced they will be facilitating the creation of a new apprenticeship scheme being set up by the government.

Trailblazers offers the first ever apprenticeship that can lead to a qualification as a solicitor and will be developed using industry standards, with both the SRA and CLC assisting the governmental department for business innovation and skills to create the apprenticeship.

The SRA and CLC will be working alongside organisations like Addleshaw Goddard, Eversheds, Irwin Mitchell, Pinsent Masons and Wragge & Co, together with BPP, CILEx and the University of Law to develop the standards for Apprentice Trainee Solicitor and Apprentice Trainee Lawyer.

While both professional bodies are assisting with the creation of the scheme, they take a different view on what the apprenticeships can lead to career-wise.

Solicitors who qualify through the Trailblazer’s apprenticeship route will have to: “demonstrate to the SRA that they meet the same standards as anyone who has come through more traditional paths to qualification.”

The CLC has used the apprenticeship to fulfill a different purpose, seeing the apprenticeship as a way to broaden access to the conveyancing profession and “provide learners with a relevant and highly attractive qualification to help them develop an interesting and rewarding specialist career in legal services.”

The CLC also hopes it will “also improve consumer protection by developing a larger group of fully-qualified and rigorously assessed providers of conveyancing services” as well as set the benchmark standard for conveyancing apprenticeships.

Chief Executive of the CLC, Sheila Kumar said: “We’re committed to supporting the development of a diverse profession that delivers the services consumers want to the highest professional standards.

“As the regulator of Licensed Conveyancers we expect high levels of technical expertise and professionalism from all those involved in conveyancing to protect the consumer and the public interest.

The apprenticeships are being launched as part of phase two of the Trailblazers scheme, after phase one covered eight other business areas, and was launched as part of National Apprenticeship week celebrations.

They are employer-led and graded upon completion with either a pass, merit or distinction to mark the level of achievement.

Matthew Hancock, Skills and Enterprise Minister said: “We want to see Apprenticeships become the new norm for all ambitious young people, and employers who are dedicated to growing their own talent and increasing the skills base of the nation.”

For more information on the programme, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-of-apprenticeships-in-england-richard-review-next-steps

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