Local News from North & South Tyneside

Young solicitors celebrate their success

North Tyneside Council is celebrating the success of three of its young stars after they completed apprenticeships in law.

Josh Farrier, Lucy Wombwell and Shaun Nattrass all joined North Tyneside Council straight from sixth form aged 18 – and following a six-year course, are now fully-qualified solicitors.

Shaun and Lucy are now set to continue their careers with the authority as Lawyers, while Josh has chosen to take a gap year and travel the world before his next career step.

Speaking on his experience, Shaun said: “I am delighted to have recently received my Solicitors Qualifying Exam results and have now completed the apprenticeship.  

“My initial inspiration to become a solicitor came from watching legal tv shows such as Suits and Silk. I was lucky enough to come across the Solicitor Apprenticeship offered by North Tyneside Council which included the Law Degree and the Solicitor Qualifying Exams.

“The apprenticeship has provided me with the opportunity to undertake work in different areas of the law across the Council’s various legal teams, which has broadened my understanding of the law as well as the Council’s functions. I look forward to becoming involved in more complex matters and further developing my skills as a lawyer.”

Lucy said: “I knew I wanted to be a lawyer from a young age. I wanted to make a difference to others, and as I’m quite studious and academically minded, law seemed like the perfect fit for me!

“My colleagues in legal and across the wider Council have been incredibly supportive throughout the last six years. I’ve worked alongside some brilliant people and have learned so much from them; I wouldn’t be where I am now without all of the guidance I’ve had along the way. I am grateful to work in such a strong and supportive team!

“As solicitor apprentices we’ve been able to learn on the job, build experience, connections and knowledge; we’ve been able to obtain law degrees and qualify as solicitors without any debt, and we’ve been paid along the way! Our apprenticeships also meant that we didn’t have to worry about trying to secure a training contact or other practical experience, which can be really difficult and competitive in the wider legal field.

“I’d highly recommend the apprenticeship route to anyone hoping to get into a particular profession, regardless of the subject area.”

Echoing the sentiment of his peers, Josh said: “The on the job training you receive is the most beneficial part of doing an apprenticeship; I worked in a legal environment with qualified lawyers, which meant I was able to network much earlier than via the traditional solicitor qualifying route.

“From day one, I received a lot of support from my team. I wouldn’t have been able to get to this point without their support.”

Cllr Steven Phillips, cabinet member for Inclusion, Education and Skills, said: “It’s fantastic to see three young people come into an organisation so young, in such a challenging field, and succeed in the way Josh, Lucy and Shaun have.

“We’ve always pledged to be an organisation that promotes and provides apprenticeship opportunities for young people – and we will continue to do that.

“A lot of young people who have received their GCSEs and A-Level results over the last few weeks will be looking at their next step and I’d always urge them to consider an apprenticeship as their first step into the working world.

“Throughout their apprenticeships, Josh, Lucy and Shaun became immensely valuable assets to our organisation and I’m delighted to see them do as well as they have. Congratulations and all the best to them as they continue their careers.”

North Tyneside Council is now preparing to welcome its new crop of apprentices for 2023. 16 new apprentices will start in a range of frontline and back-office roles across services including Housing and Property Services and Environmental Services.

If you are interested in finding out more about apprenticeships at North Tyneside Council, you can find more on our website here, or email Jane.Gray@northtyneside.gov.uk.