Successful apprentices join Birkett Long

Four young administrators have completed their apprenticeships with Birkett Long and secured permanent positions with the leading law firm.

Destiny Berry, Georgina Jones and Rhiann Wilford will continue working in the Colchester office, and Lucy Tindall stays on in the Chelmsford office.

​Birkett Long Human Resources Manager Joann Kebbell said: “As a result of our apprenticeship programme we have been able to recruit staff who are enthusiastic, ambitious, driven and want success.  This creates a positive working environment. The success we have had with the programme has been fantastic.”

​Birkett Long has a track record of recruiting apprentices, with most going on to secure permanent full-time positions. Opportunities to progress include becoming trainee legal secretaries, marketing assistants, or trainee paraplanners in the Financial Services team.

Destiny Berry, 21, a former student at Clacton County High School, joined the Administration team in Colchester in July 2015 and has gained an NVQ Advanced Level 3 in Business Administration. As of 1 June she became a Trainee Legal Secretary in the Quality and Float team.

She said: “My apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to train for a qualification in-house and earn at the same time. I was excited to be able to kick start my legal career within the leading law firm in Essex.

“Birkett Long has been awarded ‘Gold’ in Investors in People with continuing commitment to training and developing its staff. This offers me the opportunity to progress within the firm and gain the experience and training I need.  My initial aim is to become a Legal Secretary and, to further my qualifications and knowledge, I am currently looking into an ILSPA course for Legal Secretaries.”

​Rhiann Wilford, 22, who studied at St Helena School and Colchester Sixth Form College, joined the Administration Team in February last year. She said: “From college, I went straight to work as I didn’t want to go to university, and then decided I wanted more out of work so decided to go for an apprenticeship. I have always been interested in law and I enjoyed learning and earning at the same time. 

“It means a lot to get a permanent job as I like working for Birkett Long, everybody is friendly and approachable, and they give good opportunities. I hope to progress to become a legal secretary.”

​Georgina Jones, 19, attended the Old Bailey and the Royal Courts of Justice during work experience at barristers’ chambers in London while she was a pupil at Helena Romanes School in Great Dunmow. She realised working in a law firm was her preferred career option, and applied for the apprenticeship at Birkett Long after studying for A-levels at Colchester Sixth Form College.

“I wanted to get out into the working world earning my way, and to learn as I was working,” Georgina said. “At the interview I asked about opportunities to advance, and Birkett Long said they wanted me to succeed and would support me whatever path I wanted to take.”

​Georgina’s apprenticeship was arranged through Seetec, who provided support and tutoring to enable her to gain a Level 2 Diploma in Business Administration. Initially she joined the Wills, Trusts and Probate team, moving to the Agriculture and Estates Team in 2016.

​Georgina, who now hopes to train as a legal executive, said: “It’s great working in a very supportive team who help me with any questions I have. I’ve now got all options open to me, thanks to the route of an apprenticeship.”

​Georgina enjoys helping out on a farm near her home in Leaden Roding, and is planning to join Essex Young Farmers.

Lucy Tindall, 19, joined Birkett Long’s Chelmsford-based Residential Real Estate team in August 2015 after studying at Chelmer Valley
High School and Colchester Sixth Form College.

She said: “I enjoyed Business Studies at College and was looking for a Business and Administration apprenticeship. When the opportunity came up in a law firm it really appealed to me.

“My job is really interesting, I work in conveyancing and I have enjoyed learning about property transactions, everyone in my team is very supportive. I’m still learning and there is always something new. I’m now hoping to start a Cilex qualification and to become a paralegal.”

Lucy’s team leader, Emma Wraight, said: “Lucy is very bright and is a rising star. I think the apprenticeship scheme is fantastic because we train them from scratch and see them grow and achieve so much.” 

HR Manager Joann Kebbell concluded: “Often school and college leavers find it difficult to secure that first role where they will actually learn workplace skills, and we are very proud that we are offering younger members of the community the opportunity to gain valuable practical work experience, whilst being paid, and securing a recognised qualification.”