19/04/2013

Gordons takes two national accolades for its innovative apprenticeship scheme

Yorkshire law firm Gordons has had its position as a leading provider of apprenticeships reaffirmed through taking two prestigious national awards.

The firm has won the Best Training and Best Job Satisfaction accolades in the annual Top Employers for School and College Leavers Awards. It was also ranked as the second top employer overall for school and college leavers and by far the highest-ranked law firm in the scheme.

These verdicts were based on the views of an expert judging panel and input from college and school leavers, including Gordons’ own apprentices.

Minister for Skills Matthew Hancock presented Paul Ayre, Gordons’ managing partner, with the firm’s prizes at a ceremony at the London headquarters of accountancy group BDO, the award scheme’s sponsors.

Mr Ayre said: “We’re delighted to have performed so well in these awards. We’re proud of our apprenticeship scheme and very pleased with the performance of the youngsters we’ve recruited though it. We strive to be a great place for all our people to work at and it’s gratifying that our apprentices acknowledge we’re achieving this in their cases.”

Gordons was recently named Ambassador of the Year at this year’s Leeds Apprenticeship Awards.  The firm’s apprenticeship scheme has also previously been highly commended in the Excellence in Community Investment category of the Law Society Excellence Awards 2012.

The first scheme of its kind in the legal sector when it was unveiled two years ago, Gordons’ apprenticeship programme is aimed at enhancing diversity and improving social mobility in the profession. It offers rewarding careers as lawyers to school leavers for whom these would otherwise not always be an option, as their circumstances mean they may be prevented from attending university.

Apprentices train as chartered legal executive lawyers, through a mix of practical involvement and study, over five years, with Gordons paying their salaries and funding their course fees, ensuring they qualify without the burden of student debt many graduates bear.

Mr Ayre developed the idea of the scheme after seeing a BBC TV programme which highlighted that social mobility has actually reduced in Britain during the last 20 years. Gordons welcomed its initial intake of five apprentices in September 2011 and a further three a year later.