As apprenticeships become ever more integral to businesses across the UK, Daniel Pedley explains what the CII is doing to help your company benefit.
Apprenticeships in England are changing. The introduction of the apprenticeship levy and the changes to funding for SMEs, earlier this year, have brought apprenticeships sharply into focus for more employers than ever before. They are fast becoming an integral part of how we, as a sector, attract, develop and retain talent.
Apprenticeships form a key element of the government's push to increase the skill levels, and drive up the productivity, of UK plc. Reforming the apprenticeship system aims to bring training into line with the needs of business and individuals. These new apprenticeships have been created by employers for employers, with the support of the CII.
As a profession, insurance faces immediate and longer-term skills challenges. We are not alone in this and competition for talent is fierce. Apprenticeships can be part of the solution for our sector and offer a flexibility that was not available until recently.
They provide access to talent pools that, traditionally, might not have been explored. In this way, apprenticeships are an important contributor to improving diversity and social mobility across insurance. They also support the reskilling and upskilling of the existing workforce.
SUPPORTING THE SECTOR
To ensure that insurance benefits from the opportunities presented by these changes, the CII will lead on three fronts: corralling the sector to speak with one voice on apprenticeships to policymakers; acting as guardian of standards; and providing guidance and best practice to firms -- whatever their size and whatever the stage of
- Inclusive leadership across the sector
Apprenticeships continue to evolve, changing to meet the needs of employers and the economy. To ensure that they work for our sector, are delivered consistently and firms have access to best practice guidance and support, the CII is collaborating with experts, employers and government.
2. Ensuring quality in apprenticeships
Being able to trust the quality of apprenticeships is key to embedding them into our sector's psyche.
The CII's Apprenticeship Training Provider Accreditation is a kitemark for employers to know that a training provider has met a range of standards independently assessed by the CII.
We are working with our accredited providers to ensure that firms, whatever their size, across insurance and financial planning, can access apprenticeship training. So, for the smaller firms in our sector, CII-accredited training is available to small general insurance intermediaries through Babington.
In addition, we are providing the quality assurance of end-point assessment across insurance apprenticeship standards.
3. Accessible guidance and support
Working with partners, including the National Apprenticeship Service and CII-accredited training providers, we provide guidance and support wherever you are on the apprenticeship journey -- from making the initial decision and developing a strategy, though to managing a programme, evaluating its effectiveness and identifying future enhancements. Central to this support are the CII's nine steps to apprenticeship success.
CII LAUNCH EVENT
On 4th October, we launched our new apprenticeship service at an employer breakfast. High profile speakers included CII president and Lloyd's CEO, Dame Inga Beale, who, in opening the event, set out the importance of attracting tech savvy talent into insurance. Joe Billington, of the National Apprenticeship Service, then made the case for integrating apprenticeships into a firm's talent strategy.
Developing best practice in this new world was explored by Adrian Johnson, of Aon, with CII development director, Steve Jenkins outlining the elements of the new employer support package. Proceedings where brought to a close by two apprentices, Faye Adamou of Lloyd's and Deepak Soggy of Zurich who both demonstrated the calibre of young blood apprenticeships can attract.
THE CII AND THE NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP SERVICE
As part of the CII's drive to support apprenticeships, we have partnered with the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), the government agency responsible for coordinating apprenticeships in England.
Insurance now has a dedicated relationship manager within the NAS, bringing all the relevant information on apprenticeships to CII members, all of which is free.
NAS will support CII members through its free phone advisory service which is available seven days a week.
This service will answer any questions you have, right through to helping you identify which roles in your business could be filled by an apprentice. The service will also help you choose training providers that can deliver the apprenticeship.
To use this new service call 08000 150 600. When you call, please begin by telling them you are a member of the CII, as this will enable them to tag your call.
Supporting non-levy paying GI intermediaries We are working with CII accredited apprenticeship provider Babington to ensure that non-levy paying GI intermediaries are able to access the Level 3 Insurance Practitioner apprenticeship.
To find out more visit: www.cii.co.uk/apprenticeships