Case for law apprenticeships proven beyond doubt

A whole generation of apprentices is helping to “future-proof” business for one of the West Midlands’ leading law firms.

FBC Manby Bowdler, which has offices in Wolverhampton, Redditch and across Shropshire, has 10 apprentices learning on the job towards becoming solicitors or paralegals.

HR Director Sarah Bond-Williams said apprenticeships were a key part of the firm’s employment strategy. She said: “We are working hard to grow the company, and to do that we need a full complement of skilled and talented staff.

Apprentice solicitors (l-r) Lara Sidell, Hannah Barker, Emily Shenton pictured with FBC Managing Director, Neil Lloyd.

“The apprenticeship scheme allows us to “grow our own” which, given the skills shortage across all UK industries, is helping to future-proof our workforce.

“Along with trainee solicitorships and advancement programmes for legal executives, our investment in apprenticeships is really paying off – and our staff engagement scores are the highest they’ve ever been.

“The ability to learn while they earn also makes a career in the law more achievable for young people who might be daunted by the costs and practicalities of going to university. There is a whole pool of untapped talent out there, and apprenticeships help us to find and develop it.”

Applications are now open for FBC Manby Bowdler’s 2023 apprenticeship intake. The six-year programme, delivered and awarded by the BPP University Law School, will lead to a full LLB (Hons) degree in legal practice.

Apprentice solicitors work to the same standards as all other solicitors and achieve the same qualification. Twenty per cent of the apprentice’s time is spent in formal learning and the rest spent working within the firm.

FBC Manby Bowdler’s current apprentices are paralegal Ayman Idrees and solicitors Lillie Pritchard, Rowan Jones, Abigail Noakes, Chloe Turner, Emily Shenton, Hannah Barker, Lara Sidell, Maisie Addinell and Noah Lloyd.