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Lorna Baldry

Lorna Baldry

Founder & CEO, Brightlink Learning

New Legal Services Apprenticeships were launched in Wales in September of 2022 and they’re now available to employers and their teams throughout Wales, to begin at any time and study flexibly at work and from home.

Apprenticeships Week in Wales takes place from 6 to 13 February 2023 and is the perfect time to shine a light on Welsh Legal Services Apprenticeships and to showcase the extensive and world leading legal training that’s now available in Wales.

At the time of writing there are two providers of Welsh Legal Services apprenticeships. With small, yet growing numbers of employers and apprentices signing up to benefit from this fully funded training there are some key things that you should know about this new study route for Welsh Lawyers:

1. Welsh Legal Services Apprenticeships could be available to those who live in England or Wales.

As long as the apprentice spends at least 51% of their time working in Wales, they are eligible to apply for an apprenticeship place. This can be particularly useful for employers who have multiple offices spanning England and Wales and is worth noting for those who operate remote or hybrid working practices.

2. Existing employees can become apprentices.

Employers don’t need to recruit new team members to make use of the apprenticeships funding and learning opportunities.

Although it can be a great way to take a new team member through induction and a personal learning and development plan that benefits them and the business, apprenticeships are not only available to new recruits.

3. Legal Services Apprenticeships provide CILEX training and qualifications outcomes.

The new apprenticeships are effectively the new CILEX Professional Qualifications (CPQ), level 3 is the Foundation stage and level 5 the Advanced stage. This means when someone qualifies as an Apprentice at level 3 they will be a CILEX Paralegal and when they qualify at level 5 they will be a CILEX Advanced Paralegal.

Employers and learners not only benefit from everything they learn as a result of the apprenticeship, they also move through the internationally recognised CILEX qualification and regulation framework which has been producing specialist lawyers for decades.

4. The new qualifications offer many employer benefits.

As well as a workforce who are educated on legal theory and experienced in legal practice, employers will benefit from full funding which covers the costs of CILEX membership and registration, eBooks, examination entries and learning fees.

Close working relationships between learners, employers and learning centres can provide well aligned skills share and bespoke learning which supports the business of the employer as well as the working and personal schedule of the learner.

5. There are now career long learning and qualifications opportunities on offer in Wales.

Legal services in Wales can now boast qualification and learning availability from entry at level 3 through to level 7 and beyond that to a specialist leadership programme, the Leading Law® Accelerator.

Thanks to collaboration between Welsh Government, employers and educators, Welsh Lawyers and their employers can boast skills share, internationally recognised qualifications and world class learning experiences which will make the profession here even more special than the existing legal service provision Wales enjoys.

People who may come to legal employment or entrepreneurship with qualifications but no experience, or experience but few or no qualifications can train to be Paralegals, Advanced Paralegals, CILEX Lawyers, Barristers and Solicitors. They can also learn and practise wider leadership skills, tools and techniques under the coaching of sector leaders and the guidance and mentorship of Welsh legal education providers.

More information

You can find out more about Welsh Legal Services Apprenticeships here and here.

You can book a place on an information and guidance open event here.

Lorna Baldry

Lorna Baldry

Founder & CEO, Brightlink Learning

Lorna is Chief Executive of Brightlink Learning and is also a Director of the social enterprise and co-operative Restorative Change. Brightlink offers accredited online learning for lawyers and bespoke packages for whole organisations to support CILEx lawyer qualifications,  mental health and wellbeing, domestic abuse awareness and team line management, group, peer and self-supervision.