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Traineeship Opportunities for Fresh Graduates as the Legal Sector Prepares for Recovery Amidst COVID-19

1.             Fresh graduates can now look forward to more support to take on traineeship opportunities in the legal sector. These traineeships opportunities will support graduates in their professional development and boost their employability and help law graduates meet the necessary practice training requirements to be called to the Singapore Bar.

2.             The Ministry of Law and Workforce Singapore (WSG), in collaboration with the Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc), will support Singapore law practices to tap on the SGUnited Traineeships Programme to provide and support traineeship opportunities within the law practices, which can include:

(i)    Practice training contracts[1] for law graduates; and

(ii)   Traineeship opportunities in other roles such as paralegals, legal secretaries, and legal technologists.

SGUnited Traineeships Programme

3.             The SGUnited Traineeships Programme was first announced in the Resilience Budget and further expanded as part of the SGUnited Jobs & Skills Package in the Fortitude Budget, to support up to 21,000 recent and new graduates of the Institutes of Technical Education, polytechnics, universities and other educational institutions. These traineeships will help local graduates develop industry-relevant skills, build professional networks and improve their employability in preparation for the eventual recovery. Trainees will receive a training allowance, of which the Government will fund 80% while the host organisation funds the remaining 20%.

Supporting Singapore Law Practices and Graduates

4.             Law practices that have the capacity to provide such traineeship opportunities are strongly encouraged to participate in the SGUnited Traineeships Programme. Besides providing our graduates with a meaningful traineeship experience, host organisations benefit by gaining access to a qualified pool of fresh talent and can consider hiring well-performing trainees on a permanent basis after the traineeship period. 

5.             Senior Minister of State for Law and Health, Mr Edwin Tong, SC said, “The extension of the SGUnited Traineeships Programme to the legal sector is a much welcomed move for both our law practices and graduates. Practice training is currently a requirement for law graduates to be called to the Singapore Bar and enter into practice. During these challenging times, the funding support will help law practices to continue to offer practice training opportunities to law graduates and allow them to identify talent. Law practices can also tap on this programme to provide traineeship opportunities in other roles. This will help graduates continue their training and acquire the skills required for them to pursue a career in the legal sector. I encourage law practices and graduates to actively tap on these traineeships, as the law practices prepare for recovery and growth.”

6.             Mr Tan Choon Shian, Chief Executive of Workforce Singapore said, “We are glad to partner with the Ministry of Law and the Law Society to offer SGUnited Traineeships opportunities to our fresh and recent graduates in the legal sector. It not only gives these young people a chance to hone their skills professionally and boost employability amidst the soft labour market, but also helps build a resilient and robust talent pool – one that is ready to rebound once the recovery comes.”

7.             Mrs Delphine Tan-Loo, CEO of the Law Society of Singapore said, “The Law Society welcomes the extension of the SGUnited Traineeships Programme to the legal sector as it will provide graduates the opportunity to be trained on-the-job even during this period of disruption, so that when the economy recovers, the trainees will have acquired skills that are invaluable to their law firms.”

8.             She continued, “The Law Society provides a wide range of training programmes which law firms as host organisations under SGUnited Traineeships Programme can tap into for their trainees. Our programmes for practice trainees cover the black letter law, practice management matters such as ethics, risk management and anti-money laundering, as well as personal effectiveness and well-being matters. We also offer programmes for paralegals and legal secretaries to keep them abreast of developments in legal technology, cybersecurity and data protection for law practices.

MINISTRY OF LAW

WORKFORCE SINGAPORE

25 JUNE 2020

Annex A: Factsheet

Media Contacts

Email: Amelia_Leong@mlaw.gov.sg

DID: +65 6332 8828

Email: Esther_Chan@wsg.gov.sg

DID: +65 9188 8251


Annex A: Factsheet

1.             Singapore law practices can now tap on the SGUnited Traineeships Programme to provide and support traineeship opportunities within the law practices, which can include:

(i)    Practice training contracts[2] for law graduates; and

(ii)   Traineeship opportunities in other roles such as paralegals, legal secretaries, and legal technologists.

2.             Traineeships under the programme can last up to 12 months, with trainees receiving a training allowance. The Government will fund 80% of the training allowance while the host organisation funds the remaining 20%. The monthly training allowance will vary depending on the scope and skills requirements of the traineeship.

Criteria for Host Organisation

3.             Singapore law practices may offer practice training contracts or other traineeship opportunities under the SGUnited Traineeships Programme as a host organisation, if they fulfil the following criteria:

(i)    Licensed with the Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA);

(ii)   Offers the following training opportunities:

                                     I.     Practice training contracts lasting at least six 6 months; or

                                    II.     Traineeships lasting up to 12 months for other roles (e.g. paralegals, legal secretaries, and legal technologists);

(iii) Training must commence by 31 December 2020; and

(iv) The practice training contracts or other traineeships must be offered, accepted, and commenced on or after 1 June 2020. The SGUnited Traineeships Programme is not applicable to practice training contracts or other traineeships where there is a prior agreement between the law practice and the prospective trainee made before 1 June 2020.

Practice Training Contracts

4.             Law graduates who meet the following criteria may apply for practice training contracts under the SGUnited Traineeships Programme:

(i)    Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident;

(ii)   Graduated or graduating in calendar year 2019 or 2020; and

(iii) Registered with the Singapore Institute of Legal Education as a “qualified person” under the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules.

Other Traineeships at Law Practices

5.             For other roles such as paralegals, legal secretaries, and legal technologists, trainees must fulfil the following criteria:

(i)    Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident; and

                                     I.     Graduated or graduating in calendar year 2019 or 2020 from ITEs, Polytechnics, Universities, or other educational institutions (e.g. private universities and overseas institutions); or

                                    II.     Graduated earlier from the above institutions and completed National Service in 2019 or 2020.

Monthly Training Allowance

6.             Host organisation will provide a monthly training allowance depending on the traineeship scope, based on the traineeship requirements required as below:

Required qualifications or their equivalents

University degree or above

Polytechnic diploma or professional qualifications

ITE or equivalent

Estimated Monthly Training Allowance

$1,800 - $2,500

$1,300 - $1,800

$1,100 - $1,500


Sign-up

7.             Law practices interested to become a host organisation may visit wsg.gov.sg/SGUnitedTraineeships-HostCompanies for more information, and indicate their interest at https://go.gov.sg/sgunitedtraineeships-lawpractices.

8.             Eligible graduates may visit wsg.gov.sg/SGUnitedTraineeships-Trainees for more information, and go to MyCareersFuture.sg and search for traineeship opportunities using the hashtag #SGUnitedTraineeships.

[1] These are training contracts between a Singapore law practice and practice trainees, and are not employment contracts.

[2] These are training contracts between a Singapore law practice and practice trainees, and are not employment contracts.