National Apprenticeship Week (7-11 February) is in its 15th year! With the theme, ‘build the future’ it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase how apprenticeships reflect our commitment to lifelong learning and developing future ready skills.
This week, we put a spotlight on the range of apprenticeships we offer across Allianz in the UK, the benefits for individuals and how it helps us achieve our ambition to be the best.
The Allianz Broker Apprenticeship Programme which was co-created with our training partner, Davies Learning Solutions. Two delegates share their experience.
Daines Kapp - Insurance Practitioner Level 3
Why did you choose the Insurance Practitioner Level 3 study pathway with the Allianz Broker Apprenticeship Programme?
You’ve been working through your apprenticeship for nearly a year now. When you reflect, what is the biggest benefit of undertaking an apprenticeship for you so far?
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.
How supportive has your organisation, Daines Kapp, been whilst on programme and how have you been able to balance this with your day-to-day role?
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.
What would you say to someone thinking about the balance needed to invest in your career with continued professional development alongside the commitment needed to successfully complete the programme?
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.
What do you hope the programme will have helped you to achieve by the time you have completed?
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.