It is great to hear the SRA are looking at alternative ways to reform the qualification process, but we have to look at the training contracts system. One of the main issues the profession is facing the lack of social mobility and the current system of training contracts seems to be a significant barrier to entry.
I have to say I loved the training I received during my 2 year training contract, but the number of contracts available has been reducing. I read statistics that said that there were approximately 5000 contracts offered in 2013-2014 but that was a drop of around 5.6% from the previous year and about 12.4% on 2003-2004.
It is great that the SRA want to implement a "super exam" or something similar to standardise and monitor quality, but we also need the new system to address the issue of social mobility.
It certainly seems likely that some kind of work-based training will be mandatory before qualification as a solicitor is allowed. “We have already had a lot of views on the benefits of having a work experience element in the training process,” said Coleman. “We are currently minded to retain a pre-qualification work-based training requirement. We think that’s one of the distinguishing features of the English and Welsh system and one that’s served it well.”