Damar Training, which has been at the forefront of the development and delivery of the new legal services apprenticeships, has championed the sector in its annual Apprenticeship Awards. Over 50 per cent of Damar’s apprentices currently work with employers in the legal and justice sectors, mostly as paralegals and legal administrators.
This year, prizes in over half of the categories were scooped by law firms and their apprentices, with the sector bringing home the awards recognising newcomer employer of the year, intermediate apprentice of the year and higher apprentice of the year. Weightmans LLP was also recognised as overall employer of the year.
The awards coincide with National Apprenticeship Week (9-13 March 2015)
Daniel Knowles, an apprentice who works as partner services co-ordinator for gunnercooke LLP, has been crowned intermediate apprentice of the year by Damar.
He said: “Since I began my apprenticeship in 2013, my confidence within the workplace has rocketed.
“I’ve been able to develop my skills in a wide range of areas and have even been given the opportunity to work one day a week from our London office. gunnercooke has placed a lot of trust in me, which has enabled me to shape my role and to develop significantly – I’m extremely grateful for that.”
A recurring theme across all of the winners within the legal sector was the positive impact of apprentices on business. Jon Gregson – an associate at solicitors, Weightmans LLP, and supervisor to Jordan Coulton (the country’s first higher legal apprentice) – commented on how apprentices have benefited his team.
“For a practice area such as employment, the use of apprentices is an attractive option which allows us to not only invest in their development, but also to use them in a flexible, highly skilled way that meets our clients’ ever changing needs.
“Jordan has progressed to different practice areas within Weightmans, now working in the dedicated disease unit and our higher apprentices are now carrying out work which is chargeable – a really fantastic achievement at such an early stage of their careers.”
Richard Whalley, partner HRC Law LLP, echoed Jon’s sentiment: “Apprentices offer the legal sector the opportunity to shape an individual to a role that suits the demands of the firm.
“Our apprentice, Ryan Brady, has formed a skill set that has become invaluable to the day-to-day running of his department and we’re sure his ‘can-do attitude’ will see him reach great success at HRC.”
According to recent national statistics, over the last 12 months more than 440,000 individuals embarked on apprenticeships, with this number expected to rise.
Jonathan Bourne, managing director of Damar Training, commented: “We are delighted by the achievements of all of our apprentices and of the employers who support them. The winners all demonstrate how investment by employers in their people and great partnership working with my colleagues at Damar – of whom I am immensely proud – delivers fantastic results for business.
He added: “The judges had a very challenging job this year – in addition to our winners, several other nominations were highly commended. We are looking forward to an even tougher challenge next year!”
For more information, visit www.damartraining.com