BarCap bucks FTSE100 trend with new trainee recruitment strategy

Barclays Bank’s investment banking arm is joining the handful of FTSE100 companies that offer training contracts within their inhouse legal departments.

Barclays Capital (BarCap) has hired five trainee solicitors, who are due to start in September 2007. BarCap, which has a 245-strong legal team, is finalising the structure of the programme. If the scheme is successful, Barclays hopes to extend it to other parts of the group.

The news of BarCap’s scheme comes after research by The Lawyer’s sister title Lawyer 2B revealed that just 15 per cent of FTSE100 companies offer training contracts.

FTSE100 companies offering training contracts include Aviva, BAE Systems, BG Group, HBOS, HSBC, Persimmon, Reuters, Scottish & Southern Energy, Standard Life and Vodafone. Construction specialist Persimmon is planning to take its trainee intake to two next year.

Those companies that do not offer training contracts cited a number of different reasons for their decisions. Royal Dutch Shell does not employ its own trainees, but takes on two or three from its panel firms. UK general counsel Richard Wiseman said: “We’re always thinking about it, but we’re very conscious of the resources you need to give first-class training.”

Most of the companies that hire trainees do not have a structured application process. HSBC, for instance, only offers training contracts to individuals who are already employed elsewhere in the group.