The Law Society of Scotland and Hey Legal, the training and resources platform for the Scottish legal community, have joined forces to promote flexible traineeships across the profession.

The joint venture aims to raise awareness of flexible traineeships as an innovative way for employers to create trainee opportunities within their business and to help facilitate such traineeships to happen. Flexible traineeships can take different forms, including: shared traineeships, where trainees split their time between more than one employer; part-time traineeships; and multiple secondments.

Olivia Moore, Careers & Wellbeing Manager at the Law Society of Scotland, said: “Flexible traineeships are a way for employers to take on trainees outside the traditional two-year, full-time structure.

“For some employers, sharing or spreading the costs and requirements of a traineeship might open the door to being able to take someone on where it would not previously have been feasible. Meanwhile, trainees stand to benefit from a wider range of experience working with different employers or from greater flexible working opportunities with a part-time structure.

“Often employers and prospective trainees don’t know that flexible traineeships are possible, so we’re really pleased to be working with Hey Legal to spread the message.”

To help connect employers, Hey Legal is building a free database of firms and organisations that are interested in shared traineeships or multiple secondments and are looking to get in touch with other organisations to explore these opportunities. In addition, Hey Legal aims to help employers find applicants for such roles, by promoting opportunities to students and matching graduates who send in CVs to Hey Legal to the available roles.

Ally Thomson, Director of Hey Legal, said: “Graduates of fantastic calibre are being lost to the profession, as they can't get traineeships. Equally many firms who could benefit immensely from having such graduates in their business aren't either able or keen to take on trainees. Trainees can bring energy, new thinking, different life experiences and skills to firms so we are looking to find creative solutions to this disconnect.”

Employers that are interested in finding out more should get in touch with Hey Legal. Full information on what employers need to know to offer and regulate flexible traineeships can also be found on the Law Society of Scotland’s website.

In addition, to further aid all types of traineeships, Hey Legal will soon launch the Scottish Legal Career Launchpad, a free resource for law students and graduates to help them to get better access to a range of employers and their opportunities. Students can pre-register now to receive updates and early access to the Launchpad channel.

Ally Thomson added: “Our free Launchpad channel will help law students and graduates and law firms to connect. Success would be more legal careers being launched and more firms benefitting from new recruits keen to carve out great legal careers. It's a big challenge, but one we think is worth pursuing.”

As part of its drive to better understand the profession’s views on traineeship recruitment and how the process could be improved and streamlined, Hey Legal is also running a survey. Have your say and complete the survey by 21 May 2021.

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Flexible traineeships

An alternative to a two-year traineeship with one employer is to offer a flexible traineeship. This might involve multiple employers offering a traineeship position together and sharing the trainee's time, looking at part-time options or multiple secondments. There are lots of potential benefits for both employers and trainees.