The Journal talks to one successful apprentice about her journey to qualification
Let's face it, university is not for everyone and it is important that the next generation of professionals make informed decisions when it comes to their next steps after leaving school.
With the increasing number of apprenticeships becoming available across most professions, we caught up with Georgia Hollis, of Clear Insurance Management, who completed her apprenticeship in general insurance with the Brokerbility Academy, to hear about her journey.
What made you choose an apprenticeship?
I always thought that the apprenticeship route was a good idea. I had spoken to my careers adviser at sixth form, who filled me in what an apprenticeship could offer me. I knew that I wanted to go down the apprenticeship route as university was not for me and I wanted to be able to earn a wage while working towards a qualification.
What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?
The main benefit of apprenticeships is that you can gain a recognised professional qualification along with earning a wage. I have learnt so much by working in an office environment and dealing with customers daily -- something I would not have benefited from if I had gone to university. What skills, knowledge and experience has your apprenticeship given you? Along with my Cert CII and Level 3 in general insurance, I have also been able to gain many skills from the entry-level courses that the Brokerbility Academy provided within my apprenticeship.
What do you do in a typical working day?
Since completing my apprenticeship in 2016, I have joined the property owner's team at Clear. My day-to-day duties include: preparing and issuing quotes using our delegated authority with Aviva, Allianz and Covea; processing my own book of renewals and mid-term amendments; issuing reports for the team, using the Open-GI system to create letters and debits; answering clients queries on the telephone.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really enjoy being on the property delegated authority team -- I get to step into the shoes of the underwriter and quote for all colleagues at Clear (London branch and our regional branches). I feel this helps me get a fuller, rounder and better understanding when I am broking too, as I can see how different factors will affect a risk.
What career progression have you had so far?
I started at Clear as an apprentice and then when I joined the property team I was a trainee account handler. Last year I was promoted to property account handler, which made me very proud. I am also now helping to train a new apprentice who has joined our team. In the future, I am hoping to carry on further in the property team and build my book of clients.
How has the apprenticeship helped your company?
I was part of the first apprentice cohort to join Clear via the Brokerbility Academy. Since then, four other apprentices have joined so I feel that this apprenticeship programme has made a positive contribution to Clear. Apprentices bring something unique to a company with fresh ideas. I also feel that apprentices at Clear have increased motivation and teamworking, because of the engaging training sessions and learning materials that come from both Clear and the Brokerbility Academy.
Too often, apprenticeships have been overlooked in favour of going to university. It is now the time to start changing the status quo and bringing apprenticeships to the forefront of post-school further education options.