Legal Practice (Wales)

Framework status: Archived

Framework details

Framework ID: FR03202
Issue number: 1
Issued: 23 March 2015

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Legal Practice (Wales)
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Issued by
Skills for Justice (Justice, Community Safety and Legal Services)

Contact name: Kevyn Burns
Telephone number: 0114 261 1499
Please download the framework for email contact information.


"Definition of Apprenticeships"

1. An Apprenticeship is a job with an accompanying skills development programme designed by employers in the sector. It allows the apprentice to gain technical knowledge and real practical experience, along with other essential skills required for their immediate job and future career. These are acquired through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off the job training and the opportunity to practice and embed new skills in a real work context. This broader mix differentiates the Apprenticeship experience from training delivered to meet narrowly focused job needs.

2. All apprentices commencing their Apprenticeship must have an Apprenticeship Agreement between the employer and the apprentice. This can be used to reinforce the understanding of the requirements of the Apprenticeship.

3. On completion of the Apprenticeship the apprentice must be able to undertake the full range of duties, in the range of circumstances appropriate to the job, confidently and competently to the standard set by the industry.

Legal services

The legal profession in England and Wales currently has 16,000 barristers, more than 110,000 solicitors, 7,000 chartered legal executives and about 5,000 individuals operating in other legal professions such as licensed conveyancers. These professions are subject to a high level of mandatory regulation, the purpose of which is to protect the public. Mandatory regulation includes specifications regarding training and qualifications to become a solicitor, barrister or chartered legal executive, the conduct of practitioners and their continual professional

Legal services form part of the Financial and Professional Services Economic Renewal Programme priorities for Wales and are a key growth sector. The latest Gross Value Added (GVA) statistics are derived from a combination of surveys which include: Annual Business Inquiry (ABI) / Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) and Annual Business Survey. In 2008, the sector's GVA was £2,305 million in Wales.

The majority of legal services operate in the private sector, and firms range from multi-national commercial and corporate law firms to regional medium-sized law firms, to high-street micro-businesses. There are more than 7,500 law firms operating in Wales. In addition, services are provided through in-house legal teams employed throughout industry, and especially in financial and business services firms. Legal services are provided throughout the public sector, primarily by in-house teams. In-house law teams in the private and public
sectors will also instruct independent practitioners in the private sector for specialist advice or to act on their behalf.

The Skills for Justice 2010 Sector Skills Assessment highlights the key issues affecting the legal services sector:

  • Recession has impacted on the sector in a number of ways. Corporate and commercial law firms have seen reductions in the volume of work e.g. reduced merger and acquisition work. For high street firms, the slow down in the housing market will have reduced the number of conveyancing transactions, whilst crime (especially acquisitive crime according to government modelling) tends to rise when recession produces a rise in unemployment, so parts of the legal sector may see workloads increase.
  • Part 5 of the Legal Services Act 2007 introduces Alternative Business Structures (ABS) which are a new form of practice that allows non-legal organisations (such as supermarket chains) to provide legal services, and offer solicitors much greater flexibility in the way they practise. The introduction of ABS allows much wider options in how solicitors and non-solicitors can share the management and control of a business which provides reserved legal services to the public. ABS allows external investment and
    ownership of law firms.
  • Reductions in public spending include major (£150 million) annual cuts in the Legal Aid budget for England and Wales. The legal profession forecasts a significant impact on the access to justice, and the closure of considerable numbers of law firms.

This Higher Level Apprenticeship will also contribute to meeting the skills priorities for Wales by:

  • providing flexible access to a high quality level 7 skills programme, which offers a real alternative as an entry to the legal sector for those who prefer this style of learning and achievement
  • incorporating skills to improve the general literacy, numeracy and ICT competence in Wales
  • using technical and competence qualifications, valued by employers, to increase productivity
  • developing apprentices' employability skills, making them more attractive to all employers
  • providing a career pathway into jobs and training at higher level, to provide the skills which the economy needs to grow
  • building on the existing quality learning provision for the justice sector in Wales.

Download framework

Legal Practice (Wales)
(PDF document 1.75 MB)