Osborne Clarke supports RSBC with apprenticeship funding and mentoring pilot programme

Bristol-based international legal practice Osborne Clarke has launched a new programme supporting senior managers from charity the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) to develop their careers.

Osborne Clarke is working in partnership with the Positive Transformation Group (PTG), which enabled the firm to transfer £70,000 in unused apprenticeship levy to enable ten RSBC senior managers to upskill through a Level 5 management apprenticeship.

“With reduced training budgets due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a fundraising landscape taking a little more time to return to normal, the levy transfer has been crucial for RSBC,” says Eileen Harding, people and facilities director at RSBC.

“This funding is providing our managers with an opportunity they wouldn’t otherwise have had to grow and expand their skills and, ultimately, to better support blind and partially sighted children and young people, and their families.”

RSBC’s senior managers have been given access to a range of mentors at Osborne Clarke, enabling them to seek additional support through their apprenticeship and gather valuable feedback for their programme. PTG’s Transfer of Levy service has enabled collaboration through linking up with the MentorXchange platform.

Bola Gibson, head of inclusion and corporate responsibility at Osborne Clarke, said: “It is really important to us that the programme enables our people to take part in the journey with the RSBC mentees, actively engaging in the apprenticeship programme.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for our people to really engage with our responsible business agenda while growing their mentoring and personal development skills.”

Dan Brown, founder at PTG, said: “Crucially Osborne Clarke’s programme involves active gifting in addition to the levy funding, which is a sign of the firm’s commitment to seeing the success of these apprentices through from start to finish. The mentoring supports mentees through the programme and is also used as evidence required to complete the apprenticeship standard.”

Zahra Khan is a senior IT projects manager and apprentice mentor at Osborne Clarke.

She added: “The programme has just launched, but I can already feel it’s such a rewarding opportunity for me. It’s great to step outside my day job and support someone else’s career development whilst building on skills such as active listening, facilitation and knowledge sharing.”