From education to employment

The Talent Foundry and the Co-op announce pre-apprenticeship programme ‘The Bridge’ for 2022-23


The Talent Foundry and Co-op are delighted to announce their partnership for The Talent Foundry’s Bridge programme. Bridge to a Career in Legal Services will provide bespoke training and coaching support for school leavers, getting them ready for the application process to join Co-op Legal Services’ Level 7 Solicitor Apprenticeship, an alternative to the traditional university route.

Bridge to a Career in Legal Services has been designed to support young people who have the skills, attributes and qualifications to pursue the apprenticeship, but who may not have the self-belief, or the professional support networks in place to confidently apply. Students in Bristol, Manchester and Stratford Upon Avon are invited to join the three-month programme.

Four workshops and three coaching sessions will be led by experienced Talent Foundry facilitators and coaches who will give young people the opportunity to improve their essential employability skills such as teamwork, communication and creativity while exploring what an apprenticeship at Co-op might be like. Workshop activities are immersive and exciting, to spark ambitions and engage young people in their future goals. Participants will also be given an insight into the application process and offered an opportunity to practice interview skills.

Students will take part in small group coaching sessions, allowing them space to reflect on their strengths and attributes, and explore areas for development. The involvement of Co-op volunteers will be an additional opportunity for young people to gain unique insights into the world of legal services and to understand the skills, attitudes and behaviours required to be successful.

Co-op Legal Services’ Level 7 Solicitor Apprenticeship is an exciting blend of practical application and academic learning providing students the opportunity to pursue a law degree without the burden of university tuition fees or the added costs of going to university. Additionally, at the end of their apprenticeship they will be a qualified solicitor with on-the-job experience.

The Bridge to a Career in Legal Services brings to life the Co-op’s mission to create access to opportunities for young people. By removing barriers to entering the legal sector, developing key skills and building confidence in young people we’re able to improve career prospects of young people in the community and improve diversity of people entering the legal profession.

The Talent Foundry’s Bridge programmes are now in their third year and have successfully supported talented young people to gain apprenticeships in media, technology and financial services.

The Talent Foundry is an independent education charity, and their mission is to increase social mobility by helping young people from underserved backgrounds discover what they are amazing at.  The charity’s aim is to increase social mobility by helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds discover what they are amazing at, develop valuable new employment skills and take that first step into the world of work.

Cate Smith, Head of Programmes at The Talent Foundry said:

“We are delighted to announce Co-op as a brand-new Talent Foundry partner for the 2022-23 academic year. Everything we do at The Talent Foundry is aimed at encouraging young people to think about what they want to do in the future and then helping them get there.

It’s often difficult to imagine what different jobs and industries might be like, so programmes like ‘The Bridge’ are invaluable, as they allow underserved young people an inside view into a profession whilst helping them develop essential employability skills.”

Danny Matthews, Early Careers and Youth Lead at Co-op said:

“At Co-op apprenticeships are really important to us. For a number of years Co-op Legal Services have invested in bringing in their future workforce through an apprenticeship route with great success. We’re excited to partner with The Talent Foundry to help us ensure our opportunities support young people who may not have access to other routes of learning and in turn supporting the communities we work in.”

To find out more about Bridge to a Career in Legal Services visit: Bridge to a Career in Legal Services (

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