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It’s National Apprenticeship Week!

Posted on 3rd February, 2020

It’s National Apprenticeship Week and I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on the history of apprenticeships and the opportunities we offer here at Jacksons.


Evolution of Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships date back to the 12th Century and have long been an entry into the work place. In the 14th Century parents negotiated an apprenticeship for their (male) offspring, where a Master Craftsman would take the child from the age 14 for up to 9 years to learn their trade.

Post 1945 apprenticeships reached their peak with up to one in three boys leaving school with an apprenticeship. In 1968 there were 171,000 apprentices but the industrial revolution brought a decline in apprenticeships and by 1990 there were only 34,500 apprentices in the UK.

From 1990 onwards various governments tried to rejuvenate apprenticeships. 1993 saw the introduction of Modern Apprenticeships where the focus was taken away from being ‘time served’ and placed more on the qualification received.

In 2010 Higher Apprenticeships where introduced which made way for apprentices to study to degree level and 2012 saw the introduction of minimum standards where apprenticeships must last at least 1 year and employers must provide at least 30 hours work as well as apprentices achieving at least level 2 Maths and English.
Apprenticeships are no longer limited to ‘skilled trades’ such as stone masons, mechanics, welders, electricians, hairdressers etc. Today, regardless of your age or gender, you can do an apprenticeship in almost anything from the RAF to Social Media.

The most common apprenticeship in 2019 was Health and Social Care.

Should I do an Apprenticeship?

Not everyone wants to stay in education and an apprenticeship is a great way to get experience, learn new skills and earn some money.

If you know what you want to do for a career then it’s a step on the ladder towards your goal but if you don’t, then an apprenticeship is still a great option to gain valuable work and life experience.

Think about what you enjoy doing, are you happier working with numbers or with your hands, do you like working on your own or do you like caring for people. All these things should be considered when selecting an apprenticeship.
An apprenticeship can be the start of an amazing and long career but it does not have to pigeon-hole you.
Many people I know who did an apprenticeship have moved on to very different careers. My own step-son did a Business Admin apprenticeship at a painting firm and is now living in Hong Kong teaching English to Chinese children!

The possibilities are endless.

An Apprenticeship at Jacksons

At Jacksons we have 9 apprentices (which is more than 10% of our population) working in Reception, Finance, Conveyancing, Private Client and Litigation. All but one are completing their apprenticeship in Business Administration but they all do very different work.

I know some organisations who see apprentices as cheap labour but at Jacksons we commit to giving every apprentice all they need to build a solid foundation for them to become our next Paralegals, Secretaries, Accounts Assistants etc.

They are all key members of our team and very much part of the organisation. Learning daily and adding value to the teams around them, their talent and abilities are organically leading them to the next step on the career ladder.
It gives me a real sense of pride and achievement when their tutor calls to tell me what a great job they are doing and we were blown away by one apprentice in particular managing to bring their apprenticeship completion date forward by 3 months!

So, THANK YOU to Ellie, Emma, Ellis, Ruth, Rhianna, Megan, Sofie, Sam and Tom – you’re doing a great job!

Look out for our ‘meet the apprentices’ posts on Social Media this week.

And Finally…..

My top tip to get the attention of a potential employer: write a CV.

Even if you are still at school and have never had a job still draw up a CV, include a statement so that the employers can get to know a bit about you, put down your expected grades and the sports and hobbies that you do. Include awards you have won. Don’t forget information such as work you do in the community like helping neighbours or babysitting family. It all matters.

All our Apprenticeship vacancies are posted on our website and advertised on the Please get in touch if you are interested.

Contact me, Zoe Tweddle, HR Manager at Jacksons Law Firm, on

Meet Our Apprentice – Ellie McGavigan

Meet Our Apprentice – Ellis Miller

Meet Our Apprentice – Ruth Kilmartin 

Meet Our Apprentice – Rhianna Fletcher

Meet Our Apprentice – Megan Galloway

Meet Our Apprentice – Sam Maprangala

Meet Our Apprentice – Tom Dorgan

Meet Our Apprentice – Sofie Kenworthy

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