Apprenticeships work for Wedlake Bell

The theme for this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is: Apprenticeships Work. So, this year we are bringing to you just a handful of success stories, showcasing exactly how well ‘Apprenticeships Work’ for us, for our clients and for our apprentices.

As we have just moved into our new London office in order to expand our offices in the South, we thought it would be fitting that today we talk to Ariq Bari, an IT Support Apprentice at Wedlake Bell, an independent law firm in the heart of London’s City Centre. Ariq is currently studing for his Level 4 Cyber Security Technologist apprenticeship.

Wedlake Bell are a firm believer in apprenticeships, integrating apprentices firmly within their IT and Marketing teams. They currently have 3 apprentices and Natasha Rowe, HR Manager, confirmed: “We will definitely be taking on more apprentices in the future as they allow Wedlake Bell to access a wider pool of talent and widen access to opportunities within our firm.”

In order to help us raise awareness for apprenticeships Ariq Bari, who joined Wedlake Bell as an IT Support Apprentice after completing his GCSEs and AS levels, discussed his IT apprenticeship with us:

Why did you choose an apprenticeship, rather than other routes of education?

I’ve always felt the normal education path only teaches you general knowledge and not what needs to be learnt for a job role. Most people get their qualifications through University. However, with the debt you get for university and years you spend, it can be more useful gaining experience and skills. Nowadays, most employers care more about experience and skills, especially in an IT job role as you need at least 2 or 3 years of experience to get a job with a good salary.

We live in a competitive society and many apprenticeship routes can help you get ahead, and into the workplace at an early stage. To have an increased chance of having a successful career, you need to differentiate yourself from others.

Apprenticeships allow you to earn a salary, gain experience, skills and qualifications. It’s the best start you could have to your career.

Because the theme of NAW is ‘Apprenticeships Work’ why do you think ‘Apprenticeships Work’?
Apprenticeships create rewarding opportunities for people and can help a company/firm access a wider talent pool. It’s extremely worthwhile for a company to invest in one person in order to help someone start their career and may bring a business closer to achieving their aims/objectives.

Why did you choose to do the apprenticeship you did?
I’ve always had a passion for IT and have had an interest in PC gaming. The idea of building a computer for my own gaming needs sounded like a life experience and a good experience to have. For that reason I knew I wanted to get a career in IT which could lead to getting a job role in ethical hacking or managing security systems.

I wanted an apprenticeship which will give me the best start to my career that I will be proud to tell others about and show to the world. I knew I had massive potential and wanted a challenge so I was determined to work in an interesting area of IT and law was definitely the right choice for me. My apprenticeship will give me the skills and qualifications needed for that so I can do it to a high standard.

What do you love about working for Wedlake Bell?

They have such a friendly and positive environment to work in. All the employers are a pleasure to work with and I could not ask for a better team. They have gave me a lot of support and I look forward coming to work every day. What I love a lot is the location, the views and all the amazing pictures we have on the walls around the firm. Even the clients and people that come to the firm who are not employees are a joy to meet.

Have you felt well supported throughout your apprenticeship by your line manager, by trainers, by your skills development coach? How?
My line manager has been great with allowing me to do additional exams to achieve more IT qualifications and giving me resources for learning and getting written work done. He has also assisted me with questions and work I have been unsure about.

Trainers have been excellent in providing good quality teaching and support. They provide different ways of teaching and learning. In addition to the training, they give us encouragement to revise, and advice on the best topics and revision tactics to revise for exams. Estio trainers go the extra mile, and I can email them for help whenever I need to if I don’t understand something.

My Skills Development Coach is outstanding. She gives so much support with written work and is always available for me to contact for help. Any questions I have are answered in a way I understand. She’s understanding and makes it easier for me to get my modules done.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to a friend?
I would highly recommend it to anyone.


We are so thrilled to hear that Ariq has had such an overwhelmingly positive start to his apprenticeship with a fantastic employer.

If you are a business in London that is interested in taking on an apprentice like Ariq then please contact us on 020 3355 8810 to be put in touch with our Client Engagement Team.