Manchester law firm DWF has announced it will launch a new legal apprenticeship scheme this September.
The firm says it will create 18 new legal apprenticeship positions in partnership with training provider, BPP University Law school.
DWF has offices in London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Liverpool – it plans to distribute the positions the UK, to ensure opportunities are open to potential apprentices from all parts of the country.
The two-year course will be offered across both the firm’s commercial and insurance teams and will give apprentices the opportunity to work towards a Level 3 trailblazer paralegal Advanced Apprenticeship.
Last month Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer became the first Magic Circle firm to embrace the earn-while-you-learn programmes after it revealed plans to launch a legal apprenticeship.
In the same month, however, both Slaughter and May and Clifford Chance ruled out the programmes, saying they were "not right for the profession".
Kirsty Rogers, executive partner at DWF Manchester, said: “Young people in Manchester are increasingly looking for alternative ways to start their careers without going down the traditional university path, and these rigorous apprenticeships will offer students from a wide variety of backgrounds the opportunity to break into the legal sector and gain valuable qualifications.
“DWF was an early supporter of apprenticeships, having had over 20 young people undertake an apprenticeship with the business since 2012, seven of whom remain in the business today, and we remain fully committed to further developing our programme.
“We firmly believe in inclusive recruitment practices and are confident that by offering apprenticeships to students in Manchester who demonstrate both practical and academic skills, we will attract and retain the widest variety of talented young people for these roles.”
DWF apprentices will also be able to work towards a Certificate in Higher Education, a qualification equivalent to the first year of a degree, which they can do alongside the apprenticeship.