A Derby-based law firm is flying the flag for the city after being named in this year’s Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employer awards.
Sort Legal, whose head office is in Derby and has a second office in Cardiff, ranked 24th at this year’s awards, which recognise the nation’s top apprenticeship employers.
First compiled in 2020, the prestigious annual employer rankings have been developed by the Department of Education, in partnership with High Fliers Research, who independently assess and rank the nation’s top apprenticeship employers.
The Top Apprenticeship SME Employer category assesses employers with up to 249 employees and measures an employer’s commitment to employing apprenticeships, the number of new apprenticeships created, the diversity of their new apprenticeships, and the progression of their apprentices onto further employment.
Over the past few years, the conveyancing industry has experienced a decline in recruitment, which has been worsened by the pandemic. This has led to many people leaving the industry, which drove Sort Legal to explore the apprenticeship route. The company now invests heavily in apprentices to support its longer term growth plans.
This award reflects and celebrates the hard work by the company’s apprentices and the investment Sort Legal has made into its recruitment, growth, and development strategy.
Sort Legal currently has an impressive cohort of apprentices, with three trainee legal cashiers, alongside two apprentice administration assistants specialising in business administration at Level 3.
The company is set to recruit two more apprentice administration assistants shortly.
The success of Sort Legal’s apprenticeship programme is highlighted by their recent accomplishments of several apprentices. Four apprentice administration assistants recently completed their apprenticeships and have been promoted to the role of remortgage paralegals.
Two legal cashiers have successfully passed their apprenticeships and been promoted to group management accountants studying AAT Level 4. One apprentice in accounts has been promoted to group finance manager after passing AAT Level 3 in 2022 and is set to complete their Level 4 in 2024.
Commenting on the award, CEO Kevin Tunnicliffe, said:
“We are delighted to be ranked 24th in the Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employers 2023. This is a huge accolade and one we are very proud of.
At Sort Legal, we are keen to develop, train and provide our employees with not only a role, but a career to be proud of. This award celebrates the effort everyone has put into our recruitment strategy so far.
“We believe in empowering every individual to achieve their full potential and will continue to deliver opportunities for the city’s apprentices in the future,” added Kevin.
Gillian Keegan, Secretary of State for Education, added:
"I want to congratulate and thank all the businesses that made the 2023 rankings.
“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for people of all ages and background to earn while they learn, whilst ensuring employers develop the pipeline of skilled professionals they need to grow and thrive.
“These rankings highlight the huge range of apprenticeship opportunities right across the country, from renewable energy projects to video game design, and marine navigation.
"As a degree apprentice myself, I am passionate about ensuring more people can access the same opportunity I did – and I’m delighted that our 2023 rankings help us showcase the best of the best in apprenticeships."
Sort Legal was launched in 2017 and provides quality legal services to clients wishing to buy, sell or remortgage their homes. Sort Legal is a branch of Sort Group, which also includes SortRefer and Sort Move.