Guidance for Employers

Guidance for Employers


Apprenticeships provide the ultimate win/win situation.  They are a fantastic scheme that benefits the employer, the apprentice and the legal industry as a whole.  Past popularity of apprenticeships and the benefits that they bring have proved so great that in Spring 2017, the traditional apprenticeships were transformed into Trailblazers apprenticeships.  

What is a Trailblazers apprenticeship?

Trailblazers apprenticeships have been developed by the employer led groups (trailblazers) who have developed apprenticeship standards with a view to deliver a faster, more structured development program to become either a solicitor, a Chartered Legal Executive lawyer or a paralegal.  

What the benefits of employing an apprentice?

As an employer taking on an apprentice you benefit greatly, from increased motivation and upskilling of your workforce through to increased retention.

You will receive a member of staff who is motivated, eager and willing to learn.  Whilst learning and gaining the experience and supporting qualifications needed, you can mold and nurture your apprentice to do business your way – understanding your unique culture and approach.

Apprentices have a much higher retention rate and sense of loyalty ensuring you keep the talent you have grown, in your business.

How are the Trailblazers apprenticeships funded?

The government has committed to 3 million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020. An apprenticeship levy for large employers been created to fund this commitment, and to encourage employers to hire more apprentices to help address skills gaps in the UK. So Trailblazers apprenticeships are funded mainly by employers, although some government funding is also available. 

Who pays the Apprenticeship Levy and how does it work?

As of 6 April 2017, organisations with an annual payroll over £3 million, automatically pay an 0.5% monthly apprenticeship levy to the Government, through their PAYE. The levy is placed into a digital account that the employer can draw on to fund the costs of apprenticeship training. Employers can also top the funds up if they wish, up to a limited amount. Funds can be drawn from the fund for a limited time. This means that large employers accrue a pot of funding for formal apprenticeship schemes and training.  

Although the levy will be 0.5%, the government offsets that by returning what it calls a levy allowance to the employer of £15,000.

Employers will also benefit from a 10% top up to monthly funds entering an account. 

What Government funding is available?

For employers under the apprenticeship levy threshold, the government will pay 90% of the cost of apprenticeship training (100% in Wales).  Even current CILEx students can be funded in this way if they transfer onto the Trailblazers apprenticeship scheme.

From May 2017 the Government will pay £1,000 direct to an employer for taking on a 16-18 year old on an apprenticeship.

How do I support an apprenticeship to ensure a successful end?

Employers can choose a training provider to deliver apprenticeship education, training or qualifications from the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers.

CILEx Law School is listed on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers and is one of the CILEx Apprenticeship providers.  Find out more here.

Apprenticeship End-Point Assessment Organisations (EPAO)

An apprenticeship is completed by an end-point assessment. Apprentices are assessed by an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) who will undertake a holistic assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that have been learnt throughout the apprenticeship. 

CILEx has been approved as an EPAO to deliver the end-point assessments for both the Paralegal standard and for the Chartered Legal Executive standard, and is listed on the government’s Register of Apprentice Assessment Organisations

Working with CILEx 

For over 50 years CILEx has provided access to legal training support for all members and employers and we provide a range of support services for our members and employers to ensure high professional standards

If you would like to work with us at CILEx on your apprenticeship program, we are here to help you:
• set up an apprenticeship programme in your organisation for paralegal and Chartered legal executives.
• ensure that your employees have the best chance to pass the end-point assessment standards.
• ensure that your apprentice is supported throughout their apprenticeship and beyond by a professional body that represents paralegals and Chartered Legal Executives and we can provide additional membership benefits including helpline, career, study and peer study support and access to discounted books and goods.

To find out more about how apprenticeships can benefit your business, call our dedicated and qualified employer team on 01234 845 727, send an email to or click the images below.

Apprentice Registration  Apprenticeships in Law Apprenticeship FAQs Apprenticeship Resources

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