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Harper Macleod LLP believes Modern Apprenticeships are vital to its philosophy of growing its own talent and goes the extra mile to support its apprentices.

The Glasgow-headquartered law firm offers Modern Apprenticeships across a range of corporate frameworks..

Modern Apprenticeships are jobs open to anyone aged 16 and over who wants to work, learn and earn. They are designed in conjunction with industry – so apprentices get the skills employers need.

Partnership with learning provider

Harper Macleod is committed to creating opportunities that will help young people improve their lives and reach their full potential. The firm works with Career Ready, MCR Pathways and the Robertson Trust in addition to partnering with schools.

When the firm have recruited Modern Apprentices with additional support needs they don’t view this as a barrier to progression. Working closely with learning provider QA, they focus on offering the most effective support.

Harper Macleod Support Services Manager, Elaine Gilmartin, said: “Our Modern Apprentices all come from different backgrounds. When we’re recruiting, I love being able to show our retention rate and tell them what previous Modern Apprentices have gone on to achieve. 10% of our staff were recruited as Modern Apprentices and many have progressed through the business.”

Life skills and social development

This commitment and support of apprenticeships has led to them becoming a finalist in the Large Employer of the Year category at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards.

At Harper Macleod a training plan is created for each apprentice’s role, which includes a mix of role-specific and personal development training. In addition, there are regular 'check-ins' for Modern Apprentices.

The business also supports young people with life skills coaching and developing self-worth, which includes inputs on money management, health and wellbeing and other social development needs.

The firm’s commitment to its young talent led to it receiving the Investors in Young People 'Gold' award.

Apprentices adapting to change

Like most firms, Harper Macleod has faced challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Elaine has been impressed with the adaptions made by Modern Apprentices to ensure their development continues.

She said: “Some of our Modern Apprentices have totally changed role and had to work in a different team or environment, it’s bringing them new challenges, which they’re enjoying. They have been key in keeping us running throughout the pandemic.

“The Modern Apprentices have adapted very quickly. When they start with us, they’re reactive. I take great joy out of watching them on their journey as they become proactive members of staff.”

Harper Macleod, which also has offices in Edinburgh, Elgin, Lerwick, Inverness and Thurso, previously supported Scottish Apprenticeship Week by organising an internal Modern Apprentice awards ceremony. MSP James Kelly was in attendance.

Elaine added: “We had MSP James Kelly in the office to present our Modern Apprentices with their certificates. They were all delighted because he tweeted about them later that day – it was nice to see them get that recognition.

“We believe Modern Apprenticeships are the way forward. They benefit us as we can recruit young talent and give them a springboard to either progress through our company or seek positive opportunities elsewhere.”

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