The BBC and Barclays have unveiled work placement and apprenticeship schemes intended to boost diversity within their in-house legal departments.
The separate schemes follow a government push to encourage apprenticeships, which will allow school-leavers to begin training as solicitors.
The BBC will recruit three apprentices to its in-house legal team from September. The school-leavers will undergo two years of training through the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
Alison Neil, learning and development manager at the BBC’s legal department, said the scheme is intended to improve diversity within the organisation. ‘We are opening up the opportunity for people who may be from backgrounds that are less traditional,’ she said.
The BBC will advertise the positions to schools. Neil added that the department is also considering creating work experience placements as part of its push to broaden diversity. The BBC has an in-house legal department of around 70.
Barclays has teamed up with diversity network Aspiring Solicitors and three of the bank’s panel firms to offer 50 one-week placements to graduates.
David Jackson, director of senior legal cover for Barclays’ private equity and investment businesses, said the scheme was unique in providing in-house opportunities for university students.
‘We are not using this as an [immediate] employment tool for Barclays,’ he said. ‘This is about increasing the base of talent available to work at Barclays in a legal role at some point in the future.’
The BBC apprenticeship scheme will open to applications from the end of March.
Aspiring Solicitors is currently working with 72 universities. The scheme is expected to open to more institutions upon launch. Jackson said Barclays is also considering an apprenticeship scheme from next year.