By Jenny Goda, Solicitor – Legal Standards Principal

I’m really excited that applications for our brand-new apprenticeship programme in Legal Services opened this week. We’re looking for 10-15 probate apprentices who’ll be based in our offices in Bristol and Stratford-Upon-Avon.

The apprenticeship will take 24 months to complete. 20% of this time will be spent by the apprentices in a learning environment, developing their knowledge of the legal industry in general, and specifically the legal elements of Probate. The remaining 80% will be working in the department. Firstly this will be in a Legal Assistant role, and by the end of the programme, apprentices will have a Level 3 Paralegal Apprenticeship and be working as a Probate Case Manager.

Having the opportunity to work and learn at the same time will help the apprentices to benefit from the knowledge and experience of their colleagues who are already in existing assistant and case manager roles. At the same time, they’ll learn more about the business, and how the work they’re doing contributes to the Co-op vision.

I think this is a great alternative to the traditional university route for getting a job in the legal sector and I’m proud to be working for a business offering this option. My hope is that this programme will contribute to us becoming an employer of choice in the industry, attracting the best and most diverse range of talent, who’ll want to grow a career with Co-op.

It’s been really interesting getting out and about speaking to local college students about the new apprenticeship programme over the last few months. There’s certainly a lot of interest and this seems like an opportunity that fills a gap for a lot of students who aren’t sure that university is right for them but are interested in law.

We’re running it as a pilot for now and if it goes well, we’ll open more apprenticeships across more of our practice areas and locations in the future.

Internal applications from colleagues across Co-op who fit the criteria are also welcomed. If you’re interested you can see the application criteria and find more details here. Applications close on Sunday 23 February.