February 2023 calendar desk

National Apprenticeships Week 2023 runs from 6 to 12 February, when we will celebrate all our apprentices and the rise of the apprenticeship route into law.

At Stephens Scown, our apprenticeship programme goes from strength to strength. With 16 apprentices across a range of teams, from business support through to Solicitor apprentices, we are currently looking for new talented apprentices to join our firm.

The Apprenticeship Route

Available to those over the age of 16 who are either early in their career, looking to gain new skills in a current role, looking to change careers, or not in full-time education, the apprenticeship route is a great paid work opportunity.

Earning while learning and gaining valuable experience with on-the-job training, apprentices spend at least 20% of their working time taking part in classes with a college, university, or training provider. This leads to a nationally recognised qualification. For some people, this route may be preferable to the more ‘traditional’ route of going to university.

What’s Achievable?

There are a number of levels and qualifications which can be achieved via the apprenticeship route. This can range from Level 2, the equivalent of a GCSE, right up to Level 7, which is the equivalent of a Master’s degree.

Structure and Support

At Stephens Scown we have a wide range of apprentices, from Level 2 through to Level 7 and Solicitor apprentices.

All of our apprentices are given support by their direct teams and supervisors. There is also a wider training team, support from HR, plus the apprenticeship training provider will include coaches who are there to help every step of the way.

Becky Pickford works as a paralegal within the Intellectual Property, Data Protection, and Technology team and is currently studying for a Level 6 Chartered Legal Executive qualification through the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX).

She has experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters and advises clients from various sectors on trade mark protection in the UK and overseas, including looking after the day-to-day management of large trade mark portfolios, design rights, commercial contracts, terms and conditions, data protection, e-commerce etc.

Her reasons for starting an apprenticeship were: “It allowed me to study for my qualification while continuing to build my experience and expertise. When I qualify, I’ll have over eight years’ experience in the role, which is invaluable, and this aspect is why I preferred the apprentice route to others, which upon qualification can start with minimal practical experience. I enjoy the mix of work and study. I’m coming to the end of my apprenticeship now and know that I will miss the studying – although I won’t miss the exams!

“The greatest benefit is the flexibility, you get protected study time while still working alongside it, and you can have some input into how your course goes on.

Kia Pearson – a Level 7 Solicitor Apprentice – supports the Energy team, assisting on property aspects of renewable energy projects including wind, solar PV (large and small scale), EV and battery.

On her reasons for choosing an apprenticeship, Kia said: “I always wanted to be working and earning a living, and so decided against the traditional brick university route. I decided to start studying at the Open University in the evenings and weekends alongside working full time as a legal secretary, which was very stressful and seemed disconnected from my day-to-day role. When Stephens Scown introduced the Solicitor Apprenticeship, I had never known that an apprenticeship could allow you to qualify as a solicitor and decided to look into whether it could be the route for me.

“Having the opportunity to learn the law alongside gaining real-life experience has been the best decision I could have made career wise. If you are looking to become a solicitor, but like the idea of gaining experience and being able to earn while you learn, I couldn’t recommend the solicitor apprenticeship enough!”

Since April 2021, Travis Harry has been working in the Brand Engagement and Customer Experience team as a Level 3 Digital Marketer. The positives of an apprenticeship for him are: “The education/work balance is great, it gives me time to breathe while still having a fun learning experience with peers at college. Learning while earning is brilliant and I like the fact that I can see what’s going on and how the business operates, and speaking to colleagues gives me a good insight into the career paths available.

“I get guidance while also having independence with my work. Support is always available, which gives me that extra confidence when trying something new. The fees your employer covers means I don’t have to worry about student fees, plus money earned while working allows for greater stability, away from the worry over student debt.

“The college work also links into your everyday work, so it feels like you’re teaching yourself, utilising your experiences in the classroom when you go to college and reflect with peers.”

Business Benefits of Apprenticeships

Ben Jones, Partner in the Property Litigation team at Stephens Scown, sees our apprenticeship scheme as: “A critical cog in the wheel of the Firm’s development. It plays a vital role in helping to attract and nurture local talent, who will then remain committed to the Firm for many years after completing the scheme. It’s opened up a new route into law and with that comes a more diverse pool of bright individuals who will play a pivotal role in the growth of Stephens Scown.

“As a supervisor of those on the scheme, it is incredibly rewarding in aiding the development of those taking this alternative route into the legal world. While lots of knowledge can be acquired through more traditional routes, the reality is that you can’t beat learning on the job!”

Similarly, Tom Chartres-Moore, Partner in the Intellectual Property, Data Protection and Technology team, and another apprentice supervisor, added that: “Apprentices at the Firm get to work in a fun, fast-paced environment. There’s no doubt that it is challenging, but that creates greater reward and the calibre of individuals in the apprentice scheme is second to none. Our apprentices are working hand in hand with qualified lawyers on large scale and complex matters and as a result, qualify with exceptional knowledge of their practice area.”

As an increasingly viable route into law and other services within the legal sector, apprenticeships are an area of growth for Stephens Scown.

Current Vacancies

Stephens Scown is currently recruiting for two Business Administrator Apprentices for our Family team and a Team Assistant Apprentice in our Intellectual Property, Data Protection, and Technology team.

Rachael Smith, our Graduate Recruitment and Apprenticeships Officer says: “I am proud to work for a firm that genuinely supports the different opportunities and routes into law that are now available. If you or anyone you know is interested in finding out more about an apprenticeship with Stephens Scown, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.”

Rachael, Kia, Solicitor Apprentice and Travis, Digital Marketer Apprentice, will be attending Exeter College’s Apprenticeship Expo as part of National Apprenticeships Week on Thursday 9 February They will be on hand to answer any apprenticeship questions, promote the benefits of the apprenticeship route, help with discovering potential career paths at Stephens Scown and what it means to be a Scowner!

If you would like to learn more about our apprenticeships, please get in touch with Rachael Smith, Graduate Recruitment & Apprenticeships Officer, on 01392 210700 or by email to r.smith@stephens-scown.co.uk.