Sintons supports new initiative linking employers with schools in the North East

Law firm Sintons has become part of a new which links employers with schools in the North East, to help develop curriculum projects and showcase a working environment to teachers for the benefit of their students.

Sintons has thrown its weight behind the teacher externship project, the first of its kind in the region, which sees teachers visiting a local employer, observing how their subject is used in business and discussing different career pathways relevant to their subject.

Through the initiative, run by The Edge Foundation, the teachers plan a project for their students based on their employer experience. The aim is to enhance student understanding of the relevance of the curriculum, develop their employability skills, prepare them for the workplace and make informed career choices.

Sintons linked with The Edge Foundation through the law firm’s deep commitment to supporting young people in the region in pursuing a legal career. As a founder member of the North East Solicitor Apprenticeship (NESA) programme, Sintons has taken on three solicitor apprentices to date – offering a six-year alternative route into the profession – and recruits a new cohort of graduate trainee solicitors every year.

Abby Corkhill, an A-level law teacher from Durham Sixth Form Centre, spent a day in Sintons’ head office in Newcastle, meeting people from across the firm, including a senior lawyer, solicitor apprentice, trainee solicitor and HR, to understand the business and the vast opportunities on offer in a law firm.

She said: “This initiative has been very beneficial to me and I’m certain it will be to our students too. As well as seeing the workings of a law firm, it was very useful to hear directly from apprentices and graduates in particular about their experiences and what advice they could pass on to young people who are hoping to follow their route.

“The solicitor apprenticeship is still very new and has made a big difference to the opportunities young people see for themselves in the legal sector, and it’s fantastic Sintons were involved in developing this. It’s clear Sintons is a very friendly and supportive firm and a place in which people thrive and the team have been extremely helpful in the advice and insight they have given.”

Claire Atkins, head of HR at Sintons, said: “We have a longstanding and deep commitment to supporting young people to pursue a career in law and are always very keen to get involved in anything where we can lend our support. The teacher externship is a very innovative initiative, which has great benefits for the students and helps open their eyes to how their school work can mirror what happens in a law firm. We were delighted to welcome Abby.”

Karen Burgess, employer and education engagement coordinator at Edge Foundation, said: “Teacher externships are a great opportunity for schools to connect with employers. They highlight to young people the relevance of what they are learning to the world of work and the career opportunities available to them. We are so grateful to have local businesses such as Sintons involved, to support our schools and help raise the aspirations of their students.”

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