A day in the life of an apprentice – Ben Ingham, Oldham Borough Council

From university to apprenticeship

After leaving school I followed many of my fellow pupils and went off to university (to study English Literature). However I discovered that it wasn’t for me and, after taking some time out, decided to leave, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. I wanted to find a job which allowed me to keep studying and enhance the knowledge I’d acquired, while still allowing me to earn a wage – a legal apprenticeship was the perfect fit for me.

I had never really given an apprenticeship any thought, and wasn’t aware of legal apprenticeships when I was doing my A-levels – now I want to make everyone aware of them.

My own caseload

I’d worked in an office environment before, and being the most junior member of the team, I expected to be doing menial jobs and making brews – I couldn’t have been more wrong. I have my own caseload and get involved in some of the Council’s big regeneration projects; I couldn’t have imagined I’d be doing the type of work I’ve done this past year.

Working in the Corporate legal team at the Council means that new challenges await me every day. From dealing with HM Land Registry applications, to drafting leases and giving legal advice to caseworkers around the borough, to conducting title investigations on our assets – each day is rewarding, challenging and thoroughly enjoyable.

I must admit that property law is something I’d never been inherently struck by. It’s quite quirky and it takes some getting used to. Honestly though – I love the work I do. I feel like a valuable member of the team and even though I’m surrounded by many years’ worth of experience from some of the loveliest people I’ve ever met, they will allow me to work independently, while still being on hand with any help I might need.

The benefits of an apprenticeship

There are great benefits to undertaking an apprenticeship: it allows you to gain work experience while earning a wage – but I think more importantly, it allows you to study and work at the same time. I would definitely recommend it. You can earn a decent wage while you’re studying qualifications that employers want and you get treated like an adult rather than just a student.

CILEx Law School support

The studying I’ve had to undertake is very flexible and my CILEx Law School tutor has been fantastic. I’ve always adopted a laissez faire attitude to my own studying and my tutor hasn’t sought to change that, she’s just tried to get the best out of me, which I’m confident she has.

This case study was published for National Apprenticeship Week 2017