• Carly, Abbie and Sophie


Winns Creates Opportunities for Apprentices

Winns has recently taken on three new apprentices through Learning Links, to expand its workforce and encourage internal growth and promotion for aspiring legal professionals.

With more than 250 employees, Winns is growing rapidly and we're keen to promote staff from within through a range of training and development opportunities. Many senior staff who work at the firm have progressed to other areas of the business after starting out in junior roles.

Rachel Allen joined Winns back in 2006 in an administrative role. After moving through different departments, Rachel is now a Costs Lawyer, and Manager of the Costs Team. Rachel’s success story highlights the importance of investing in young people and shows just how much can be achieved through on the job training.

In order to provide additional opportunities for progression, Winns has decided to formalise vocational training through an apprenticeship scheme coordinated by training provider Learning Links.

HR Officer Colette Adair said: “As a business we are committed to the training and development of our own staff and if possible always look to promote from within the business. Over the years we have watched a number of our trainees rise through the ranks to senior positions within the firm but this is the first time we have gone down the apprenticeship route and we are delighted with the results.”

She added: “Our apprentices have joined us with little to no work experience at all but we have been bowled over by their attitude and enthusiasm. We were also really impressed by their academic ability too; our apprentices had impressive exam results and could quite easily have stayed on at school but interestingly opted to go down the path of employment and study on the job.

“I certainly think that people’s opinions of apprenticeships have come full circle and once again individuals are recognising them as a solid stepping stone in to a viable career and companies understand the positive impact that apprentices can have on their business.”

Three of the newest apprentices to join the admin team at Winn Solicitors are Sophie Redhead, Carly Backhouse and Abbie Stoker. Sophie and Abbie joined Winns straight from school, while Carly spent one year working at Boundary Mill as a Sales Assistant before joining the firm.

Despite achieving good academic results, the apprentices felt that they wanted to do something more practical after leaving school.

Sophie, from Fenham said: “I couldn’t wait to leave school but knew I wanted to find a job that I would enjoy and would give me some long term prospects. The apprenticeship at Winns is just perfect; as a paperless office, the post room is one of the most important departments within the organisation as in the legal world people still rely upon postal correspondence. We take responsibility for electronically documenting everything that comes in and goes out of the organisation and ensuring it is allocated to the correct solicitor so my IT skills have improved significantly.

“I’ve also learnt to communicate with a wide range of people as I liaise daily with all the legal teams who are all really friendly and approachable.”

She added: “As part of my apprenticeship, I am studying for an NVQ in Business Administration and surprisingly I am loving the study element just as much as the day to day work – and I never thought studying was for me.”

Carly, from Wallsend, said: “I joined Winn Solicitors after leaving school and had been working in retail for a year. I’m really interested in a career in business, but I’d rather learn on the job than study at university. I’ve really enjoyed my apprenticeship at Winn Solicitors so far, I like how busy it is and how much there is to learn.”

Abbie, from Sunderland, added: “I thought Winn Solicitors would be a great starting point for my career after leaving school. I’ve always been interested in law, so working for a solicitor really appealed to me. I hope that this will be a foot in the door to a career in the legal sector – I’d love to work my way up on the legal side of the business.”

“So far, my favourite part of working at the firm has been visiting court – we go every week to deliver post – it’s really interesting to see how the legal system works.”

The apprenticeship scheme runs for 12 months and we hope to continue the scheme year after year, as the apprentices move on to other roles within the business.

Apprenticeships across the UK are available in 1,500 job roles, covering more than 170 industries, from advertising to youth work and from environmental engineering to legal. To find out more about apprenticeship opportunities at Winn Solicitors, click here or call us on 0191 2761000.