This week we are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 2021, running from the 8th – 14th February 2021.

Every year National Apprenticeship Week highlights the incredible work that employers and apprentices do throughout a large variety of industries and sectors across the UK.

We spoke to two of our apprentices, Alicia Matutino-Barnes from our Real Estate team and Skyla Erskine from our Personal Injury team – here’s what they had to say:

How have you enjoyed your time here at LA?

Alicia: I have really enjoyed my time at LA so far. It’s really interesting to work in a law firm and everyone that I have met are lovely.

Skyla: I began my apprenticeship at Lester Aldridge just a few weeks ago and already feel like part of the team. Our weekly Zoom meetings have given me a chance to get to know everyone, even those working from home. The office is a very friendly environment and everyone is always keen to offer you a hand.

What sort of things have you learnt so far?

Alicia: I have learnt the difference between different documents that the fee earners use, what the fee earners job in my team entails, how a law firm functions and the meaning of different terminology.

Skyla: I am completely new to law so I have had to learn a lot in a very short time. However, my training has slowly eased me into my role so I feel confident about each new task I am given. My biggest learning curve has been realising how much background work is involved in the cases and how much hard work and organisation is required from the team.

What made you decide to do an apprenticeship?

Alicia: I am a very practical learner so A-Levels ended up being the wrong route for me. I chose to do an apprenticeship as I get to work practically while learning at the same time and eventually getting a qualification.

Skyla: I decided to do an apprenticeship as I loved the idea of combining my studies with my day to day work. An apprenticeship is a learning process which eventually provides you with a qualification in your job. I liked this aspect as you can build your confidence throughout the duration of the apprenticeship.

What made you choose LA?

Alicia: My interest in my future career is within Real Estate and law. I saw that LA had an opening position for an apprentice in their Real Estate team so I thought that it would be a great place to begin my career and get experience.

Skyla: I chose to do an apprenticeship at Lester Aldridge as it is the largest law firm in Dorset. Therefore, there is lots of opportunity for progression.

Do you have any advice for anyone about to start an apprenticeship or thinking about doing one?

Alicia: My advice would be to do a lot of research and to find an apprenticeship which best fits someone’s interests. You need to have an interest in what you’re doing!

Skyla: I highly encourage anybody thinking about an apprenticeship as it is a great first step on the career ladder. It is a great first job as you are learning the skills required for a job that interests you

What are your plans when your apprenticeship has finished?

Alicia: When my apprenticeship finishes, I would love to study for a degree for the next step of my future law career.

Skyla: My plans once my apprenticeship has finished will be to carry on working at Lester Aldridge, to carry on building my knowledge about the company and take on more responsibility.

The benefits of an apprenticeship

As an apprentice, you are given the opportunity of qualifying on-the-job training, offering a range of benefits for both the employee and the employer, e.g.:

  • Work with experienced staff as a valued team member
  • Develop job-specific skills
  • Earn a wage and receive the benefits of being an employee such as holiday pay
  • Be given time to study alongside their job – most apprentices attend college one day a week
  • Gain a nationally-recognised qualification

Apprenticeships available at Lester Aldridge

If you are interested in LA’s apprenticeship scheme across our Bournemouth and Southampton offices, please visit our careers page or email

Find out more

To find out more information about apprenticeships, please go to the Gov.UK Apprenticeship web page, speak to your careers advisor or approach your local college. Lester Aldridge currently works with Bournemouth & Poole College and City College Southampton.