National Apprenticeship Week is now in its 13th year and we are keen to promote the benefits apprenticeships bring to both businesses and individuals alike.
This week, our Learning and Development Manager, Samantha Cooke was at the CSA Learning & Development Conference in Leeds to discuss how we use the Apprenticeship Levy to create jobs and upskill the business.
Many businesses can access the Apprenticeship Levy once payroll reaches £3 million and pay into the scheme. For us, utilising the some of the levy we contribute, benefits our L&D budget. We are proud to say we have almost 30 apprentices working within various departments throughout the business. We also have some of our leadership team also working towards the CSA’s Level 3 Team Leader Qualification.
As a business we do not shy away from our commitment to apprenticeships, instead we create roles specifically for them which allows them to take more ownership and accountability for tasks. Apprenticeships can often been seen as a route for school/college leavers but we encourage and recruit apprenticeships from all age groups and also our own leadership teams, upskilling to higher level apprenticeship qualification.
We will continue to promote the benefits of apprenticeships as we diversify our workforce and maintain upskilling our current employees. We seek to encourage anyone looking at an apprenticeship that they can look beyond the traditional routes to employment where you may need formal qualifications or experience.
We are proud of everyone one of apprentices and it’s a real pleasure to see them pass with their qualification. Ellie Brown is just one of many to have completed her apprenticeship at BW Legal and she journey is testament to the level of success the apprentice route can have for anyone.
Ellie passed her apprenticeship with a Distinction and she wanted to do a brief Q&A to talk about why she chose the modern apprenticeship route and her ambition for next steps in building on this foundation and her career.
I completed an apprenticeship with BW Legal and proud to have achieved a Distinction. The traditional higher education did not appeal to me and I wanted to gain experience of an office environment.
My apprenticeship involved completing on the job learning, working initially as part of the Learning and Development team and then moving into HR payroll. I also topped up my learning through webinars and online learning, plus I had regular meetings with my tutor.
The business accommodated time for end point assessment work and for my exams. By working in the business, I gained exposure to key skills and knowledge that were needed to help me gain my apprenticeship qualification.
The main challenge I faced during my apprenticeship was balancing my time between studying and working during the week. I managed this through remaining focused and organised with my work and study load.
My next step in my career is to obtain a payroll qualification and continue to grow my career at BW Legal.
To anyone considering an apprenticeship I’d say go for it! Apprenticeships are a great way to kick start your career and don’t worry about asking questions – it’s the best way to learn.
We also asked our apprentices how they are finding the experience with BW Legal while undertaking an apprenticeship and their view on the scheme as an alternative to traditional college and university qualifications.
Nathan recently joined our Collections department as an Apprentice Agent. He said “I’ve had a good start to my career at BW Legal. I’ve been on the new starter induction course which is very detailed and provides a great understanding of the role, the area and the things to expect in such an environment.
When I finish my apprenticeship I will have gained a Level 2 Collector qualification. It’s great to come out of a scheme with an added qualification. The advice I would give to anyone thinking about this is to just be yourself and ask questions where you don’t understand something along the way”.
Rebecca is currently working in our IT department. “I am working in the IT infrastructure team. I am learning how to provide support to users who are having day to day IT issues. I am loving the apprenticeship at the moment as I get to train and learn as well as gain valuable work experience.
When it concludes I will gain a qualification in Level 3 Infrastructure Technician. My advice is simple – work hard and stay focused”.
Faye joined our Litigation team in early autumn 2018. “I am currently an Apprentice Junior Paralegal. When I joined I did not know a lot about Litigation, as I haven’t been to University. I thought I wouldn’t have been given a chance to work in a law firm.
I’ve always wanted to get into law at some point and hopefully be a qualified Solicitor one day, but I felt like University wasn’t for me so I wanted to try another route. Being so young I feel like it’s an amazing chance to get to where I want to be.
I like how my apprenticeship gives me experience and it gives me a chance to develop further and gain more skills and knowledge in law. Being surrounded by Solicitors and Paralegals it gives me a good chance to ask questions and get advice about my future. I like how I’ve always been treated the same as everyone else as this was always a concern of mine. I feel very privileged being where I am now as if it wasn’t for this apprenticeship I couldn’t have seen myself getting into Law.
I will gain a Business Administration level 2 qualification and then I have a chance to go onto a Level 3 qualification if I wanted to. If not, I can stay as a Junior Paralegal in the business and progress further like I have seen other people in my department do.
I would recommend this to anyone, just go for it!”