Two heavyweight brands are taking advantage of an alternative route into the legal profession to expand their in-house legal teams.
Coca-Cola European Partners, the world's largest independent Coca-Cola bottler, and retail giant Marks and Spencer are advertising for a six-year solicitor apprenticeship, starting in September next year. Starting salaries are £18,000 per year for Coca-Cola and £20,000 per year for Marks and Spencer.
Coca-Cola European Partners claims it is the first fast-moving consumer goods company to offer the level 7 solicitor apprenticeship. The successful applicant will join a 60-strong 'dynamic and forward thinking' legal team 'that is a key business player in CCEP's success'.
The CCEP apprentice's time will be split between work-based learning and part-time study at City, University of London and CILEx Law School.
Duties and responsibilities will include: establishing 'effective and professional' relationships with internal clients and colleagues; proof reading legal documents; assisting solicitors and legal administrative tasks such as helping to prepare litigation documents and trial bundles.
Applicants for both programmes must have eight A*-C GCSEs, with As and Bs in English and maths, and three A-levels at grade B or above.
The government-approved standards for the alternative route in September 2015. Two months later the Solicitors Regulation Authority updated its regulations to enable solicitors to be admitted through an apprenticeship route.
For each apprenticeship, there is an apprenticeship standard, which describes the skill, knowledge, and behaviours required to qualify as a solicitor and an assessment plan which defines how the apprentice will be assessed during and at the end of their apprenticeship.
The solicitor apprenticeship standard is based on a Statement of Solicitor Competence. Apprentices must also pass the two-stage Solicitors Qualifying Examination.