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National Apprenticeship Week 2022

Posted: 11 February 2022

 

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george worby

George Worby

I had a career change, moving after 7 years in administrative roles within higher education to an insurance brokers, and my employer was discussing learning opportunities with me before joining. I was eager to achieve professional qualifications, starting with Cert CII, but wanted to make use of all available opportunities. There are so many in the insurance industry! I had very little previous experience or knowledge of insurance, hence wanting to create a foundation to build upon over time. My employer identified the Allianz pathways and we applied within weeks of me starting. The Level 3 Insurance Practitioner study pathway has been the perfect companion to my first 12 months as an insurance broker.

It’s difficult to identify one, but one of the biggest themes is that of the apprenticeship supporting my learning journey throughout my first year. There are so many webinars, training courses and online learning available, and it can be difficult to know where to start. The apprenticeship has given me a clear pathway to follow, ensuring that I am learning the fundamentals as well as having exposure to new areas. Apprenticeship Standards are the starting point in making sure that I am being given every opportunity to become a well-rounded broker. I am given direction with my Cert CII studies, helping me prepare for, book and pass my exams. Away from my apprenticeship, I am learning through my day job and all the other learning opportunities available to me. I use my apprenticeship to recognise and identify what is or isn’t covered or useful to ensure that I am getting the most out of time.

My coach, Anne, brings everything together. I find the monthly coaching sessions invaluable and have taken so much from them. Anne gives me direction on my studies, setting targets and deadlines for Apprenticeship Standards, online learning modules and Cert CII studies. I also use the sessions as an opportunity to discuss what I have learnt over the past weeks, and we reflect on my experiences as well as generating new ideas to try in the workplace. I thought that the apprenticeship programme would just help me achieve Cert CII status, but it is so much more than that.

My employer, Daines Kapp Insurance Brokers, have been so supportive of my apprenticeship. My Line Manager recommended the apprenticeship to me during the interview process, identifying it as being a huge benefit to learning about the industry. My Line Manager, having similar experience themselves, was part of the application and induction process so they knew what the expectation on them as an employer was. They also accompany me to quarterly reviews with my coach to discuss my progress.

I can balance my apprenticeship studies with my day-to-day work, giving me time away from tasks to concentrate on my studies. One thing that has been of great use is the ability to discuss the learnings of my apprenticeship with my Line Manager and my colleagues, giving it context in the real world. Daines Kapp are also open to me trying new things which have come from my apprenticeship studies. This gives me the opportunity to learn and develop, as well as make a difference to the business. One example of this is that I am in the process of creating a document that records all the features of our Property Owners Insurers’ policies as a reference guide when it comes to placing risks. This has so many benefits such as working efficiently, improving our relationship with insurers, and giving our clients the best possible service.

The insurance industry is continuously evolving and, as a result, you must learn and adapt as an insurance broker to be able to provide the best level of service possible. All my colleagues, some of which have been in the industry for a number of decades, are always learning and adapting, as well as refreshing.

You and your employer need to be committed to the apprenticeship programme for you to maximise what you get from it. The more you, as a learner, put into the apprenticeship, the more you get out of it. All the tools are available, but it is down to you to make use of them. I would still be able to do my job without the apprenticeship programme, having exposure to learning opportunities through my day-to-day job and the training on offer from insurers and networks, but the apprenticeship gives my learning direction and maximises it.

The apprenticeship can sometimes run in the background without you even knowing. You might be displaying apprenticeship standards without even knowing or trying something that came from the apprenticeship without it being obvious to your employer, insurer, or client. There are other times when the apprenticeship needs time and attention, and you must be ready to commit the time over a sustained period.

I hope the programme will help me to become a well-rounded insurance broker, ready to develop further during a career in the industry. I have already seen that it is giving me the foundation to build upon, generating an understanding of the basics of insurance and exploring new areas that are more complex.

My initial hope, which is still the case, was that it would help me achieve Cert CII status. I now hope for this plus having the knowledge and some experience to be and continuing being a competent broker. I want my apprenticeship to be the start of a successful career in insurance.

tristan scaife

Tristan Scaife

I actually applied for the level 4, however through the interview process when my experience and senior position came to light, I was told the level 6 was the only option available. This made the course more appealing to me, I cannot resist a challenge and jumped at the chance to obtain a higher qualification, my DIP and ACII.
It’s simply made me enjoy insurance more! I’ve always enjoyed the industry and its variety. But understanding the history, laws, and precedents behind why we ‘do what we do’ has made me a better professional. I’ve been able to pass this onto my team and colleagues, and I’ve even used my education from M05 to ensure a client got a claim paid.
The business has been extremely supportive, my manager Darren has fully appreciated how important this is to me personally and backed me all the way. It has been tough at times to find the balance between work and study, but I’ve found with good planning, the support of my coach, and with a few weekend study sessions to top me up, I’ve managed fine, passed everything so far!
Colleagues have already asked me this question, I’ve said to all of them that time is key here, you cannot pass these qualifications without proper effort and commitment, so you are going need to have or be able to make time available. The programme is excellent and will make things easier for you, but also comes with deadlines and expectations, it’s not a free pass! However, once the work is done doors will open for you in the future, and doing these studies with the support of the apprenticeship programme is a lot easier and enjoyable with coach and the team to back you up.
I didn’t do well at school (I hated it). However, I’ve done reasonably well in my career and I am sure if you asked my teachers, they would be surprised to see me where I am, and I wouldn’t blame them. By the end of this programme I will have filled the gap in my education and got the professional credentials to support my experience and successes over my 16 years in Insurance. I’m certain that thanks to this programme the next 16 years will be even more interesting and successful.
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