Legal business DWF has officially launched its new Trailblazer Legal Apprenticeship programme in collaboration with BPP University with 16 apprentices joining the firm to start a two-year paralegal apprenticeship, which is one of the largest cohorts across the legal sector joining under the new scheme. The apprentices will complete a one-week induction period before joining the firm’s commercial and insurance service teams. With apprentices based across seven of DWF’s UK based offices, the scheme is both one of the largest and one of the most geographically-diverse legal apprenticeship programmes in the country.
The apprentices will work towards a level-three Paralegal Trailblazer Legal Apprenticeship and will also have the opportunity to complete a Certificate in Higher Education, a qualification equivalent to a year’s full-time study at a university. DWF has run a successful apprenticeship programme across its legal and non-legal divisions for several years, having previously recruited 20 apprentices, and last year the firm was one of just a handful of law firms invited to form the exclusive, employer-led ‘trailblazer’ group that developed the framework for new Trailblazer Legal Apprenticeship programmes, ensuring the schemes are developed in accordance with the training requirements of colleges and employers.
The apprentices have been selected from a pool of ambitious school and college leavers from across the UK and will be based across the firm’s Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Preston offices. One of the firm’s new Manchester-based apprentices is an alumni of DWF’s award-winning education and youth employability programme 5 STAR Futures, which is recognised as one of the legal sector’s most impactful youth development programmes. 5 STAR Futures has also been recognised for innovation in social responsibility in the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Report for its focus on helping young people develop confidence and resilience and reducing barriers to employment.
Oliver Bate, Head of Learning and Development at DWF, comments: “We have a longstanding commitment to employing and supporting apprentices and are pleased we’re able to offer individuals from across the UK the opportunity to begin their careers through an new, alternative route into law through the Trailblazer programme. We proactively look to recruit individuals from diverse backgrounds for the benefit of our business and clients and look forward to supporting our apprentices as they progress their careers with us."
Outside of the trailblazer scheme, the firm has also recruited six business administration apprentices across its central services teams.