globalbridge, the innovative education tech business, has teamed up with a leading North East law firm in a bid to attract a more diverse range of talent into the industry.

Commercial law firm Muckle LLP has partnered with globalbridge to boost its pioneering work in breaking down barriers to entering the legal profession, after the law firm helped to establish the UK’s first regional solicitor apprenticeship scheme in 2017.

Newcastle-based globalbridge is an online platform that operates like a hybrid of Facebook and LinkedIn for education. It enables students to showcase their talents directly to the worlds of business, Further and Higher education.

Rather than just uploading academic achievements, students can upload artwork, musical recitals, videos, images, animations and soundbites to support their search for potential employers and universities. They can also identify their career aspirations and preferred routes into employment, such as apprenticeships and graduate schemes.

globalbridge Founder Ben Mason, who features in the current Sunday Times top 100 entrepreneurs list, said: “We are delighted that Muckle has chosen to partner with us and it is fantastic to have a such a successful and forward thinking law firm on board.

“We have just completed a webinar with Muckle that reached 240 students across 6 schools, and it shows how useful digital platforms can be in supporting student pathways and employer engagements, particularly when time, travel and environmental constraints or unforeseen events restrict face-to-face meetings.

“Throughout my teaching career, I became increasingly aware of the disconnect between industry and education.

“It’s not all about grades and this platform gives young people the chance to showcase their additional skills and talents, whether that be their artistic, creative or sporting interests.

“There are many, many barriers to young people finding work experience and careers they want to develop in, and industry has real problems sourcing talent for the future. I wanted to overcome these obstacles and create mutually beneficial relationships linking firms seeking talent and young people facing that first step on the career ladder.

“By its very nature, globalbridge is open to every young person, every business, school, college and university. Talent is for everyone and opportunities are everywhere.

“Fixing the talent divide is something that is very real and no one can dispute that. We’ve presented to the Houses of Commons and Lords, and there is no doubt that we are in serious need to bridge this very serious gap between industry and education.”

Nicola Leyden, HR director at Muckle LLP, added: “Muckle already runs a number of initiatives aimed at creating opportunities for students to explore and enter the legal profession, including the development of the North East Solicitor Apprenticeship scheme.

“globalbridge is an opportunity to expand this work by connecting with more students and aspiring solicitors and sharing what is great about the profession.

“The platform allows us to explore more innovative and impactful approaches when connecting with young people. For example, we will be running two webinars in March, hosted by our solicitor apprentices.

“This will allow us, with the help of globalbridge, to target young people with a genuine interest in law from a selection of schools which is much more effective than attending a careers fair.

“It’s very important to us that we broaden opportunities, particularly for young people, and I hope more law firms across the region and beyond join the platform.”

Founded by Ben Mason, a former teacher at Emmanuel College and Durham School, globalbridge was recently named number four in the North East Tech 50, as well as being finalist for the Dynamo ‘tech for good’ and Federation of Small Businesses ‘Digital & e-commerce’ awards.

The company currently has a reach of more than 100,000 students and has a host of big name partners including GSK, NBS, NHS BSA, Sage Group, Engie, Virgin Money as well as many schools, colleges and universities within the North East and beyond.