Trainees demand better feedback

Tim Miller reports

TRAINEE solicitors in local authorities are demanding more feedback from their bosses, a survey reveals.

Less than half meet their supervisors on a monthly or more frequent basis to review their progress.

And two-thirds of trainees would welcome more communication with their superiors.

The research, carried out on behalf of the local government training unit, is based on the 50 responses to questionnaires sent out to 90 authorities.

It reveals that training has suffered recently due to belt-tightening within local government.

Nearly all the trainees who responded had attended some sort of training course and the majority had found them "very useful". But more than 50 per cent said they had not been able to attend as many conferences as they would have liked.

The Law Society's Local Government Group is currently looking into the possibility of setting up a Professional Skills Course specifically designed for local government trainees.

The survey shows that one third of trainees are seconded to another tier of local government, the Magistrates Court, the Crown Prosecution Service or private practice as part of their articles.

In 1993-94 there was an increase in the number of training contracts offered by local authorities following a sharp drop the previous year. In 1991-92 there were 77 new trainees compared to 37 in 1992-93.

The figure rose to 44 last year. The Law Society is currently compiling statistics for 1994-95.