Law firm Harper Macleod aims to grow its number of Modern Apprentices as it congratulates its latest cohort of successful graduates coming through the programme.
There are currently 32 colleagues who are working towards, or have completed, their Modern Apprenticeships.
More than 75% of the Modern Apprentices who started or achieved their qualification while working for the firm, are still working for Harper Macleod, meaning more than 10% of the firm’s workforce came through the programme.
Martin Darroch, Harper Macleod chief executive, said: “Having a culture of developing and supporting people throughout their careers, particularly from the outset, is vital to us. By actively promoting and encouraging young people to join us as Modern Apprentices we are able to craft and hone skills in a unique way.
“We recognise the responsibility we have as a large employer to our young people, as the Scottish economy continues to recover from the pandemic. The Modern Apprenticeship programme has proved time and time again how effective the partnership between industry and education can be, encouraging and promoting rich and diverse career pathways.
“We’re proud of the work we’ve done together so far, but want to do more as our business grows, and so does the responsibility which goes with it.”
Harper Macleod was one of the first law firms in Scotland to start supporting the Modern Apprenticeship programme, having brought through more than 70 apprentices since 2009, including nearly 50 in the last five years. Many have gone on to a wide range of careers within the firm including paralegals, HR and marketing.
All Modern Apprentices at the firm are offered full time contracts as well as the Scottish Living Wage.
The firm marked this year’s Scottish Apprenticeship Week with a visit from Glasgow MSP Sandesh Gulhane, who met 10 current and recent Modern Apprentices at the firm, presenting certificates to those who have recently achieved the qualification. The MSP also chatted with colleagues based in Inverness, Elgin and Edinburgh via video conference.
Dr Sandesh Gulhane MSP: “I am grateful to Martin Darroch for welcoming me to Harper Macleod to mark Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2022. I was impressed and inspired by the stories told to me by current and former apprentices. As our economy recovers from the pandemic, the Modern Apprenticeship pathway presents a great route for young people to enter their chosen profession, working with a living wage paying employer like Harper Macleod which provides training, guidance and real-world experience. "
Skills Development Scotland Chair and Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board Co-Chair Frank Mitchell, said: “When it comes to supporting sustainable skills through workforce development or providing opportunities for young people, we know that apprenticeships work.
“The combination of commitment from employers and the backing of Scottish Government will ensure apprenticeships work for everyone, making a significant contribution to Scotland’s recovery and productivity growth.”
Aidan Arenas is a Modern Apprentice in the firm’s Inverness office, working in the private client team. He chose a Modern Apprenticeship as it provides him with the opportunity to be employed while working towards a qualification in the process.
Aidan said: “I feel like I’m doing a valuable job and earning a qualification that’s industry-recognised while earning a good salary. I’d recommend it to others who are thinking about a Modern Apprenticeship as it allows you to gain skills that you might not have gained elsewhere. It puts you in situations and scenarios that you just can’t teach.”
Megan Levy completed her Modern Apprenticeship last year, and is a team assistant in the firm’s Elgin office. She was interested in a Modern Apprenticeship because it gave her the chance to work and study at the same time. Following her Modern Apprenticeship Megan is now studying to become a Residential Conveyancing Paralegal.
Megan said: “A Modern Apprenticeship is a great way to start a career after leaving school and it gives you various opportunities to get your foot in the door and develop career paths. When I first started the apprenticeship I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do, but the work environment really opened up my eyes, and my options. I am well on the way to achieving my career aspirations.”
Last year Harper Macleod signed the Young Person’s Guarantee, the Scottish Government-backed commitment to bring together employers and young people to increase employment opportunities for 16 to 24-year-olds. The firm also hold Investors in Young People Gold status.