About legal apprenticeships
If you are a young person interested in applying for an apprenticeship, please visit our Apprenticeship hub.
We recommend that organisations of all sizes should now employ apprentices, either as new recruits or as a development opportunity for existing members of staff.
For those with a payroll over £3 million - the apprenticeship levy
The government’s announcement of the introduction of an apprenticeship levy radically changed the legal sector’s view of apprenticeships.
From 6 April 2017, employers with pay bills of over £3 million will be paying a new type of tax in the form of a levy payment. Unlike most other taxes, the levy is put into an account for the employer to use to fund formal apprenticeship training within the organisation. If your organisation has a payroll of more than £3 million, you will be eligible to pay the levy of 0.5% of payroll, so you will want to ensure that you can take advantage of that overhead by drawing down the funds to pay for apprenticeship training.
Employers need to be aware of the rules regarding the levy: they can use what they pay in for apprenticeship training, but if they don’t use it within a certain period, then it is lost. There are other proposed rules to be aware of too. See our separate page about the levy.
For those with a payroll under £3 million - government funding
If your organisation has a payroll of less than £3 million, the government will pay 90% of the cost of apprenticeship training, so you can extend your training budget through public funding. Current CILEx students can be funded in this way if they are transferred on to the Chartered Legal Executive Apprenticeship. This means that organisations in this bracket will only pay £900, for example, towards the training costs of a Paralegal Apprentice over the two-year programme, in addition to the employee's salary. Information on the contribution payable by employers is given on the individual programme pages.
What are the benefits of employing apprentices?
Whether or not you are eligible to pay the apprenticeship levy, there are many compelling reasons for including legal apprenticeships in your strategic training and development planning.
- Develop affordable staff who free up paralegals’ and lawyers’ time for more technical matters.
- Improve your staff retention: apprentices will have a strong loyalty due to having been given a start in the world of work.
- Identify young people who prove themselves to be worthy of further training investment.
- Fulfil your firm’s corporate responsibility and social inclusion objectives.
What apprenticeships are there for the legal sector?
Apprenticeships are available at a number of levels. Intermediate apprenticeships are appropriate for training support staff into competent administrators, whereas Advanced, Paralegal, Chartered Legal Executive and Solicitor apprenticeships deliver legal knowledge and legal practice competence, and are an ideal recruitment and selection tool for the lawyers of the future.
Are there apprenticeships for administrators?
Legal services organisations can also take advantage of the Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship in Business Administration
or Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Business Administration.
This apprenticeship is designed for staff in business support roles such as HR, reception and data inputting functions. It is at the same level as the Intermediate Apprenticeship in Legal Administration, but the selection of modules relates more to business support and it is intended for staff within a legal services organisation who are not directly assisting in the progression of legal matters.
How are legal services organisations using apprenticeships?
Read how our key clients Addleshaw Goddard, Browne Jacobson and Kennedys are using legal apprenticeships.
Watch video interviews from clients Browne Jacobson and Clyde & Co.
Watch a compilation video of a number of legal apprentices from across our client organisations.
Costs and funding
These vary according to the programme you are selecting, the age of your apprentice and the size of your organisation. We have created a separate page to cover how apprenticeship training is funded and the implications of the apprenticeship levy.
Read the government's guidance on the Apprenticeship Levy. August 2016
CILEx Law School can assist with recruitment, and you will always be involved in selection.
- Apprenticeships are particularly appropriate for school leavers who show potential to prosper in a legal environment, but do not want to incur the cost of full-time education.
- Apprenticeships can also be used for existing staff, provided they don’t already have a comparable qualification.
For new apprentice starts from May 2017, the government will pay any organisation £1,000 for each apprentice under the age of 19 at the time of employment. This grant is payable to levy-paying organisations as well as those not eligible for the levy.
Progression is available from the Advanced/Paralegal Apprenticeship on the CILEx professional qualification, or the the Chartered Legal Executive Apprenticeship. Find out more.
Current legal apprenticeship clients
Our clients range from national Top 100 law firms through to small rural practices. Have a look at our current and past vacancies to get a feel for how organisations are using these schemes.
How do I start the process?
If you would like to discuss this opportunity further, please contact Jenny Pelling, our Director of Business and Apprenticeships, on 01234 844326 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in applying for an apprenticeship, please visit our vacancies page or contact email@example.com.
Danielle Owen has recently completed her apprenticeship at Thomas Eggar