Young people from across the UK and Wales began the school holidays with the opportunity to gain insight into legal life and improve their work prospects thanks to a unique work placement run by Blake Morgan.
Now in its fifth year and held at Blake Morgan’s Oxford and Cardiff offices, Growing Ambitions gives teenage tenants nominated by housing associations the chance to spend a week at the firm.
The scheme, structured and run entirely by trainee solicitors, aims to introduce 16 to 18 year olds to vital work experience, to break down some of the barriers to a career in the legal profession and enhance their future prospects of employment.
Throughout the week, participants gained insight into the various roles undertaken in a law firm, shadowing trainee solicitors, and attending presentations run by a Barrister, an In-House Charity Lawyer and Business Development .
They also took part in local University Campus tours and were talked through CV writing and assessment centre preparation in a workshop run by HR.
Among the 16 students, there were four young tenants who were nominated by Cottsway Housing Association in West Oxfordshire. They were joined on the scheme by others from Vale of Aylesbury Housing Association.
Vicki Paxford, Communities Manager at Cottsway Housing Association said: “Growing Ambitions is a window to experiencing a profession our students may not have otherwise been able to benefit from. Schemes such as this can make a huge difference to the lives of young people, inspiring them to aim high in their forthcoming career. Our students enjoyed their time with Blake Morgan and we are proud to be associated with the scheme.”
William Downing, a partner in the employment team at Blake Morgan, said: “We’re delighted that for five years now, Growing Ambitions has provided young people with the chance to gain work experience in a legal environment they may otherwise not have access to.
“The aim is to equip the students with knowledge of the skills and experience they will need to build a career in law, and to simply understand how the life of a solicitor might play out each day across the different practice areas in our firm. As well as the legal aspect, this is also a valuable opportunity for these young people to understand and experience office life.
“It has been a pleasure to have this year’s group and we do hope the scheme will help them to fulfil their future ambitions.”
Cottsway is the largest local Registered Provider of social housing within the West Oxfordshire District. It owns and manages more than 4,500 homes and provides services to 135 leaseholders and almost 200 part-owners in its shared ownership schemes.
Vale of Aylesbury Housing is a not-for-profit Registered Social Landlord that provides affordable housing to over 17,000 people in the local area. It owns and is responsible for in excess of 7,200 homes in its growing portfolio of properties that covers over 350 square miles of Aylesbury Vale
Growing Ambitions is one of a number of community schemes run by Blake Morgan to help inspire people who are starting out in the world of work. They also include the firm’s work with the PRIME initiative, which offers work experience to young people from less privileged backgrounds.