Apprentice Solicitor at Co-op

Top Employer
Start Date:
2019
Location:
Manchester
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship
Review Date:
February 2020

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Review Score

9.1/10

1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:

10/10

The Co-op legal side has a wide array of sectors. These vary from employment to disputes all the way though to board secretariat. I am currently in board secretariat wherein I am preparing for the AGM (Annual General Meeting) for 2020. This is a very intense process and is one that requires constant preparation. I have sat in the 'Deeds team'. This team is very busy and is essentially the backbone of the Co-op due to the role they play in organising Deed Packets and fulfilling signing and sealing requests (plus lots more). I interact with all aspects of the Co-op team as Board Secretariat encompasses a wide range of roles. I am responsible for offering support to the team by fulfilling tasks they set me. These can vary from organising accounts to sitting in on meetings with directors and other team members.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?

10/10

I have learnt lots of new skills. These extend from being able to use the internal online systems such as blue box through to learning how to action a Section 25 Act on a tenant. Developing skills come under the brackets of the ability to take minutes during meetings and extend my researching abilities through the different software available.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?

10/10

I enjoy my program a lot. It's been a very rewarding experience in which I have learnt a lot about how the Co-op runs its business and how open and inclusive the work environment is. It thrives on helping its employees by making management easy to reach and by offering me a detailed understanding on how to perform my role, and improve plus, me being constantly reminded that my role matters. It's been thoroughly enjoyable for the brief time I have been here so far as I am constantly moving seats to experience new ways the Co-op runs and the University of Law have been very helpful in offering support when I need it.

4. How well organised/structured is your programme?

10/10

It's a well thought out structure due to me constantly being updated where I am in regards to progression through one to one meetings. I have been assigned a planner where I can input my tasks to see what needs to be completed and I have also been set goals wherein I can see what my long term goals are, both as an employee and as a representative of the Co-op. This is due to the focus on inclusivity and upholding the Co-op's values which have been cherished for years.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?

10/10

It's a well thought out structure due to me constantly being updated where I am in regards to progression through one to one meetings. I have been assigned a planner where I can input my tasks to see what needs to be completed and I have also been set goals wherein I can see what my long term goals are, both as an employee and as a representative of the Co-op. This is due to the focus on inclusivity and upholding the Co-op's values which have been cherished for years.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?

6/10

The training provider is an excellent source when it comes to the resources they provide. They have an online library which is fantastic for further reading into topics I struggled on. However, the response rate of tutors can be better. There have been times where I have requested information regarding a set task and I haven't received a response until a week later. The training provider overall however is effective in the straightforward nature of accessing tasks and resources, but could improve on the customer service aspect.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?

7/10

The Solicitor LLB qualification will be integral for my role as what I learn about comes into play in my daily working life. Of course some aspects wont be relevant like criminal law, but it is helpful to understand how the law works and it offers a qualification which is beneficial to career progression.

8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)

10/10

There are lots of extra curricular activities to get involved with at the Co-op. There is a 5 aside team, there is a gym within the headquarters and there are Co-op events such as the AGM which are very helpful for networking. The Christmas party is also a fun time for bringing together members of the Co-op after a busy year.

9a. Would you recommend Co-op to a friend?

Yes

9b. Why?

This is a two stranded question. For my role, I would 100% recommend the Co-op to a friend. I cannot stress enough the focus on inclusivity and openness among members. They have recently appointed a member of staff to help with mental wellbeing which shows the progressive, forward thinking nature the Co-op adopts in regards to caring for employees and the open plan, no hierarchy based work environment allows staff to contact anyone, regardless of their seniority. However, I cannot recommend the Co-op to a friend due to the shop floor positions. These staff really are pressurised (as are all shop floor workers in all firms) due to an increase in crime and the physical and emotional abuse they receive regularly. I am aware that the Co-op is particularly helpful in regards to offering help towards the staff, but from a purely work based perspective, they are at constant risk.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Co-op?

You must be willing to be hardworking and be constantly asking for tasks. All the staff are busy but they are all eager to help you progress by giving you tasks. You must be willing to engage with staff and be confident in putting forwards an opinion. You must operate well within the team and be willing to fulfil apparently menial tasks in order to gain greater understanding of how the Co-op works.

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