Insurance brokers: the door to funding is closing – have you future proofed your talent strategy?

24th June 2021

This article was first published by You Talk Insurance 

Currently firms can claim £3,000 for new hires and access up to £21,000 for Senior Insurance Professional Level 6 training (Advanced Diploma for CII & CILA routes), but rules are set to change on 30th September.

The past year has belonged to virtual learning & development (L&D), with the pandemic changing the way we live, work and learn. With budget cuts, furloughed colleagues and new ways of working, brokers and insurers have needed to re-think how the industry can build the skills it needs for the future.

Unemployment across the UK has been on the rise and is expected to reach as high as 10 percent by the end of 2021. Sadly, we’ve also seen the number of apprenticeship starts fall despite the extra funding initiatives implemented by the government.

The door to additional funding is closing soon…

In July 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the government is combating some of the negative impacts of pandemic on jobs with an investment of £1.6 billion to scale up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships. This was due to end in January 2021 but has been extended to 30th September 2021. Skills and career support is of critical importance to our country’s economic recovery from the global pandemic. Our future prosperity depends not only on the number of people in work but how productive and effective they are at work.

The extra funding has brought an excellent opportunity for our insurance industry to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours it needs for the future.

But there is still some stigma associated with apprenticeships, and it’s essential we continue to combat it with clear messages. Apprenticeships are an excellent way for people to progress and achieve their CII & CILA qualifications, whilst ensuring that broking firms and insurers have the skills and knowledge to work productively and effectively while they adapt and innovate for the future insurance needs of our country and communities.

Apprenticeships are available to people of any age for courses up to the equivalent of degree level, and can be completed at any point in a person’s career. With economic pressures tightening L&D budgets, many employers have already started to change perceptions people have, that an ‘apprenticeship’ is too low level or that they wouldn’t be eligible due to prior study.

Importantly, we’re seeing that the perception is changing amongst employees too. Less than 3% of our apprentices chose to take a ‘break in learning’ due to Covid-19, although the sector average was closer to 19%.  Across the broking and insurance firms we work with, employees are more motivated than before the pandemic to take apprenticeships on and achieve qualifications. More employees than ever before are approaching us and want to know more about taking on insurance apprenticeships.

By integrating the apprenticeship levy into your future talent strategy, you create a unique opportunity to progress employees’ skills and development even when budgets are tight.

For more information on how to make the most of the available funding, please get in touch with our Growth and Client Success Director, Carolyn Blunt on carolyn.blunt@davies-group.com

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