Ashurst ditches A-Level requirements for training contract hopefuls as government performs exam U-turn

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By Thomas Connelly on

Follows similar move by DWF

Ashurst’s London office

City law firm Ashurst has ditched A-Level requirements for training contract seekers in bid to increase the diversity of candidates who progress to the interview stage.

The firm, which takes on around 45 trainees each year, said “gamified assessments of cognitive ability, problem solving and emotional intelligence” are more accurate predictors of performance.

Ashurst first introduced online tests into its London recruitment process in 2019.

Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List shows the silver circle player previously required a minimum A-Level requirement of AAB or equivalent. This will be officially scrapped from September.

Nick Wong, graduate recruitment partner, said: “We know that academic performance is not an accurate predictor of performance in a role and using these tests also reduces the risk of unconscious bias and social capital playing a part in recruitment.”

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He continued:

“This approach will also allow us to increase the diversity of candidates who progress to interview and are offered positions at Ashurst. 2020 A-Level students can therefore be reassured that their grades will not disadvantage them when applying for a training contract at Ashurst.”

The move comes as the education secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed yesterday that all A-Level results in England will be based on teacher-assessed grades, after it emerged almost 40% of results had been downgraded as part of a controversial standardisation model.

Last week DWF announced it was scrapping specific A-Level requirements for aspiring lawyers. It will instead ask for “good A-Levels/Scottish Highers or equivalent”.

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