Florence Lungu of national law firm Bond Dickinson has won the Advanced Apprentice of the Year Award at the 2017 South West Regional Apprenticeship Awards.
Organised by the National Apprenticeship Service and part of the 2017 National Apprenticeship Awards, the regional ceremony took place earlier this week on 3rd October in Bristol. The awards recognised the businesses committed to growing their talent through apprenticeship schemes and showcased the apprentices who have made a substantial contribution to their workplaces.
Florence, who is 20 years old, has been with Bond Dickinson for two years. After successfully graduating from her Level 3 Advanced Legal Apprenticeship ahead of plan in July, she is now managing her own caseload whilst working as a Commercial Disputes Paralegal. Florence’s apprenticeship training was delivered by CILEx Law School, who have been Bond Dickinson’s training provider for apprenticeships since the inception of their programme in 2014.In January 2018, she will commence another apprenticeship pathway which will ultimately see her qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive.
Florence, who is based in Bond Dickinson’s Plymouth office, commented: “An apprenticeship was a very easy decision for me. Earning whilst gaining a recognised legal qualification, combined with future career progression opportunities was the perfect choice for me. I’ll soon start another apprenticeship pathway to become a Chartered Legal Executive, have grown in confidence and will continue to share my experiences with others who also aspire to start an apprenticeship.”
Mark Norman-Ball, Deputy OnShore Manager at Bond Dickinson, added: “Hiring apprentices is absolutely the right thing to do in our sector. We wanted to create alternative routes into the legal profession and open up opportunities for young people who believe that University isn’t the right path for them. We are committed to developing and expanding our apprenticeship offering and to providing continued learning opportunities following our apprentices’ graduation.
“We are very proud of what Florence has achieved in the two years she has been with the firm and this award win is a tribute to her hard work, determination and deep passion to not only develop a career in law but to also inspire others to consider apprenticeships as a different avenue into a legal career.”
Winners and highly commended entries from all the regions across England will advance to the next stages of the awards process, where they will be assessed by a national judging panel. National award winners and the Top 100 Employers will be announced at a ceremony to be held on 18 January 2018 in London.
Since becoming one of the first law firms to make legal apprenticeships available in 2014, Bond Dickinson now offers graduating apprentices permanent roles and hopes to further expand the scheme across other parts of the business and locations.
The firm’s apprenticeship scheme was already rewarded earlier this year by the National Apprenticeship Service when it won Newcomer Large Employer at the National Apprenticeship Awards. Bond Dickinson was also named in the prestigious Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list, which is compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices.