May 28, 2014

Innovative Apprenticeship Scheme sees us make the top 10 employers for school leavers again

Gordons has been ranked in the top 10 employers of school and college leavers nationally for the second year running in a major award scheme.

Our innovative apprenticeship programme saw us placed ahead of giants such as Lloyds Banking Group, ITV and IBM in the 2014 Top Employers for School and College Leavers Awards, where we also echoed last year’s performance by being comfortably the highest rated law firm.

The awards are operated by the allaboutschoolleavers.co.uk website, in conjunction with partners including global accounting services provider BDO. Rankings are determined by an expert judging panel and input from the youngsters themselves, including our own apprentices.

Where individual awards were concerned, we were finalists in the Best School Leaver Programme and Best for Job Satisfaction at Level 4 and Above sections.

The reference to Level 4 and Above refers to the highest categories of national learning programme. Unlike counterparts in similar schemes operated by some competitors, our apprentices have the opportunity to become Chartered Legal Executive Lawyers at level six, the highest standard of the qualification, requiring honours’ degree ability, which means there is potentially no limit to their career progression.

In the Best School Leaver Programme category, we were placed ahead of organisations such as big four accountancy practices Deloitte and KPMG, as well as the Bank of England. In the Best Job Satisfaction at Level 4 and above section, employers ranked below us included Visa Europe, the BBC and the National Grid.

Gordons managing partner Paul Ayre said: “It’s hugely gratifying that we’ve performed excellently in these awards for a second successive year, including doing well in different categories from 2013. Part of our significant growth in recent years has been due to our efforts to provide a great place to work for all our people, but we’re especially proud of our apprentices, all 10 of whom are proving outstanding assets to the firm.”

Gordons’ entirely self-funded annual apprenticeship programme was believed to have been the first of its kind in the legal sector when it was launched in 2011. The scheme offers a pathway to careers in law for bright 18-year-old school leavers, which they may otherwise have been denied, though their possible inability to adopt the conventional route of attending university.

The firm’s programme allows apprentices to become chartered legal executive lawyers, through a mix of practical experience and study, over five years. Gordons pays the apprentices’ salaries and funds their course fees during this period, meaning they qualify without incurring student debt.