An apprentice’s perspective: Jordan Kiely
In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, we caught up with some of our apprentices, past and present, so that they can share their stories and experiences of their apprenticeship journeys at Kennedys.
Our award-winning UK legal apprenticeship programme, launched in 2012, sees us actively recruiting from schools and colleges, welcoming people to the firm from the age of 18. This is something that our HR Director, Caroline Wilson, feels is one of the many benefits of an apprenticeship programme as it positively impacts the diversity of the workforce. She says: “I believe passionately that a structured apprenticeship programme, that attracts the best, diverse talent, is of paramount importance to organisations and industries that are considered a centre of excellence.”
In the latest instalment of our apprentice interviews we spoke to Jordan Kiely, a Solicitor Apprentice based in our Birmingham office.
“I decided that after several years of being in full time education, I wanted to do something different. An apprenticeship was the perfect alternative as it allowed me to start training in a real working environment whilst also continuing to study towards a qualification,” says Jordan, commenting on why he decided to undertake an apprenticeship.
Jordan works within the firm’s liability division on a variety of claims involving personal injury, credit hire and sickness. Upon successful completion of his apprenticeship scheme he will be awarded with a ‘Bachelor of Laws Legal Practice’ title from his ‘LLB (Hons) Legal Practice programme via our learning provider, BPP University.
Speaking on the opportunities stemming from the apprenticeship, Jordan says: “It will give me the chance to gain the same standard of qualification that I would obtain at university, but it will have also provided me with seven years of experience in a law firm.
Having the opportunity to work with such highly skilled lawyers has allowed me to gain invaluable experience.
Jordan Kiely, Solicitor Apprentice
Alongside enjoying the range of work, Jordan states that his biggest success to date has been seeing a claim that he has handled from the outset achieve a positive outcome at a hearing: “Achieving a good result really showed me the effects of my work, which is something that might not be so obvious in other industries.
“When I first started, I was quite nervous doing little things like talking on the phone or drafting letters. I was given the support and experience when working on my colleagues’ files to allow me to progress and I am now able to manage my own case load, which is something I did not expect to be able to do!”
However, Jordan also emphasises that finding the right balance during an apprenticeship is key, as he juggles his university course with work:“ It is helpful that we have a study day every Monday to concentrate on our course work, but it can still become quite stressful, especially around exams.”
When asked what advice he would give to someone who is considering an apprenticeship, Jordan states: “Try and get as much information about the apprenticeship and the firm as you can. Speak to other apprentices and ask them for their experiences as this will allow you to be sure that an apprenticeship is right for you.”
This year’s theme for National Apprenticeship Week is ‘Look Beyond’, encouraging parents, teachers, employers and young people to celebrate the diversity and value that apprenticeships bring to employers, apprentices and communities.
Last year at The School Leaver Awards, Kennedys won the ‘Best Degree Apprenticeship’ award and we are a former two-time winner of the ‘Top Employer in Law’ - at the same awards.
For more information about what it is like to work at Kennedys, click here.