A leading City training specialist has warned that legal apprenticeships may be less appealing to the biggest corporate firms with overseas offices.

Tony King, chair of the City of London Law Society training committee, said: ‘Internationally, the lack of a degree will raise issues with some local bar associations.’

King was speaking at a breakfast seminar on apprenticeships held at the House of Lords and hosted by Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger. It would be an ‘enhancement’ of the apprenticeship model if apprentices were awarded a degree on their way through, King added.

‘We must make sure [apprentices] are not regarded as second-class citizens,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Hillingdon Borough Council, London, has recruited four school leavers as legal administration apprentices to its legal services department.

The Level 2 Legal Administration Apprenticeship programme is to be delivered jointly by ILEX Tutorial College and recruiters Vision Apprentices over 12 months.

However, the council is employing the four apprentices on two-year contracts, giving them the opportunity to gain six months’ experience in each of the four units that make up the legal services department: central support; housing and property; social services; and corporate and planning.