Forresters is bucking the national trend, which has seen thousands of companies delay or cancel their trainee and apprenticeship schemes due to Covid-19.


The leading firm of patent and trademark attorneys has continued with its highly regarded training programme and has also taken on its first apprentice.


Two new trainees joined Forresters last year, and nine trainees passed their professional intellectual property law exams – among them was Ian Duncan, who grew up in West Bromwich.


The former George Salter Academy pupil passed his exams in UK Patent Law and Design and Copyright Law, taking him a step closer to becoming a fully qualified patent attorney.


Ian, who is based at the firm’s Birmingham office, told Prosper, “It’s exciting to work in the West Midlands as there is so much innovation and ingenuity here. We have seen, over the last year, how dozens of companies in the region have diversified to help fight the coronavirus. 


“Since the start of the pandemic around 60% of the enquiries we’ve had are from people with a Covid-19 related design. The team at Birmingham has been very supportive and, even when working remotely, they have provided a lot of training. It is a testament to Forresters’ forward-thinking approach that they have decided to keep investing in their training programme.”


Figures show that a number of law firms and chambers have modified, delayed or cancelled their training schemes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.


For many years Forresters has supported trainees as they work through the professional exams needed to become fully qualified patent or trademark attorneys. However, at the start of this year, the company decided to recruit their first apprentice.


Louis Romagnoli joined the human resources team as their HR apprentice. Louis, who attended Kings Norton Boys School and Bourneville College in Birmingham, said he was overjoyed to have secured a position at Forresters.


“I was attracted to working at Forresters because they have been established for a long time, but their approach is modern and customer focussed,” he said. “I decided to do an apprenticeship because I find it easier to learn by doing the job - an apprenticeship allows me to work and learn new skills.”


According to research from the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, six out of ten employers stopped all new apprenticeships when the coronavirus took hold. Government data shows that apprenticeship starts for 2019/20 were down 18% on the year before. Also, between March and July 2020, 1,033 people in England were withdrawn from apprenticeship programmes because they had been made redundant.


Jenny Donald, who is a partner at Forresters and chair of its HR committee, said investing in trainees and apprentices as part of the company’s continuous programme of investment. “We know businesses have found it hard during the pandemic, but apprentices and trainees are also facing a tough time,” she said.


“Being at the start of your career is an exciting time, and we have a number of attorneys at Forresters who trained with us.


“By investing in trainees, and now our first apprentice, we see it as a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a skilled and qualified workforce. We all know that more needs to be done to support young people who have seen their education and career affected by this pandemic.


"By investing in our trainees and apprentice we are giving them a fantastic start while helping the region to grow and develop – this can only happen with a talented workforce.”


Forresters was recognised as one of Europe’s Leading Patent Law Firms for 2020, in the prestigious Financial Times listing. With offices in Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Munich and Southampton, Forresters is able to service a broad range of clients from individuals to large multi-nationals.


Current clients include businesses and individuals in engineering, pharmaceuticals, software, electronics, food and drink, sport and entertainment.

For more information visit or call 0121 236 0484

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