Firm Aims to Continue To Be Number One Law Firm With Highest Number Of Apprentices
Ahead of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), Irwin Mitchell has announced the firm is expecting 2024 to be another busy year for apprenticeships. This year’s intake due in September, will join over 125 apprentices welcomed over the last three years.
Taking place from 5-11 February, NAW aims to raise awareness of the benefits that modern apprenticeships offer, giving students the tools to explore all the options open to them and work out the best route to their future career.
Apprenticeships are a core part of the firm’s future growth ambitions and form an integral part of ongoing commitments to diversity and steps to becoming a leading responsible business. The result has been a significant increase in apprenticeships and the development of early years careers strategy.
This year will see one of the firm’s most diverse apprenticeship intakes, with a variety of non-legal roles and departments available. These include accountancy, business administration, IT (tester and engineer), paralegal, solicitor and tax. Other milestones include:
- Anticipated levy spend set to increase to 63% for the next 12 months for the first time.
- A consistent 35% of firm’s intake includes colleagues using apprenticeships to upskill.
- An apprenticeship completion rate since 2021 of 84% versus 53.4% nationally.
- Five ex-paralegal Irwin Mitchell apprentices progressed to the L7 Solicitor Apprenticeship programme. The firm pays for their LLB Law degree plus exams to become fully qualified solicitors (saving individuals approx. £120k if they were to pursue this route via the university route).
- The number one Law firm with highest number of apprentices (December 2022).
- With 17 sites around the UK, Irwin Mitchell can employ the top talent from the communities in which it operates.
As part of this year’s NAW, several initiatives are taking place, to promote apprenticeship opportunities and highlight their advantages for post 16 students and for internal employees looking to upskill while in work.
On Monday 5 February, the firm’s apprenticeship vacancies go live, with internal and external sessions running throughout the week, providing detailed guidance on availability and how to apply. Apprenticeships, Legal, Business & Accountancy Apprenticeship Jobs | Irwin Mitchell (Applications close on Thursday 29 February 2024.
On Wednesday 7 February between 6-7pm, a webinar is taking place Apprenticeships at Irwin Mitchell to guide parents, teachers and students alike through about the opportunities available at Irwin Mitchell and the benefits of apprenticeships more widely and if the career approach is right for them.
Apprenticeship Case Study: Charlise Atkins
Charlise Atkins opted for an apprenticeship as an alternative to university in 2021 and secured a paralegal apprenticeship initially and has now been successful in undertaking the Solicitor Apprenticeship with Irwin Mitchell. This means she'll become a qualified solicitor without going through the usual university and training contract route and all with no university debt.
Charlise said: “I initially applied to university but wasn’t sure I was making the right decision. I did some research and found a paralegal apprenticeship. With success in my A-Levels, and offers from university, my family had concerns I might regret not going.
Now, my family can see I made the right choice and my career in law is now well underway. I still get my qualifications, while earning a salary at the same time.”
Lorcan Seery, Apprenticeship Manager at Irwin Mitchell, said: “This year is set to be another busy year for apprenticeships and recognising this, we’re delivering a host of internal and external activities aimed at promoting their value to the widest possible audience.
“There are still many misunderstandings surrounding apprenticeships and this week gives an opportunity to correct the picture, not just for careers with us but for apprenticeships generally. Far from being just for post 16 students, they are a great way for existing employees to upskill; while for students, they compare more favourably with university options than many realise.
“Apprenticeships represent a serious investment and myths of photocopying or making the tea and a lack of a meaningful roles are just that. Our intake is working and studying in a range of diverse areas and are valued team members. We take their recruitment very seriously and we are keen to attract the very best talent to join us. Apprenticeships are delivering career ambitions and business objectives for many firms and it’s a success story that’s not heard enough. We’re looking forward to using this week to change that.”