Annette Allmark asks: can digital apprenticeships help the insurance profession build back better?
Digital transformation has been unprecedented during Covid-19, not only in terms of speed but also due to the breadth of demand from both individuals and organisations.
As with all industries, there was no escape from the pandemic for the insurance profession, which was already heavily reliant on technology and impacted by the sudden change to people’s lifestyles – reduced income, redundancies, property purchases at risk and a long pause on travel.
Digital skills have been critical in enabling businesses to keep moving forward during Covid-19 and BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, expects this to continue in competitive environments where consumer expectations and demands are only likely to increase.
Apprenticeships are high on the government’s agenda to address skills gaps and help drive the country’s productivity – it is no surprise they will play an important role in plans to ‘build back better’.
Apprenticeships are based on standards developed by employers, including the knowledge, skills and behaviours essential to the apprentice’s chosen occupation. Apprenticeships are employed positions that include 80% on-the-job training and 20% structured off-the-job training, meaning apprentices can earn, learn and quickly apply their new skills within the workplace.
What IT leaders are saying
The BCS’s 2020 IT leaders survey found that cyber security and the cloud were still the highest-scoring technology priorities among digital leaders (61%), while the relative importance given to them was even stronger than the year before. Therefore, as the use of digital services continues to increase across the insurance profession, having an embedded cyber security culture and the necessary skills will be key.
New digital standards
Of particular interest to digital leaders facing these challenges will be the two levels of cyber security standard included in the new and revised digital apprenticeship standards:
- Level 3 Cyber Security Technician – As the first line in cyber security support, the cyber security technician monitors, detects and prevents cyber threats by implementing security procedures and controls across the organisation.
- Level 4 Cyber Security Technologist – Includes core skills of attack and threat research, risk assessment, secure system setup and computer programme/script writing, with wider pathway-specific knowledge and specialities.
Also relevant to the highly data-driven and automated insurance profession are:
- Level 3 Data Technician – Supporting an organisation to effectively collect and format data for analysis purposes, so that key decisions can be made.
- Level 4 Data Analyst – Looking at how data can be used to answer questions and solve problems using a process of requirement gathering, inspecting, cleansing, transforming and modelling data to discover useful information, inform conclusions and support decision-making.
- Level 7 Artificial Intelligence Data Specialist – Specifically focusing on the use of AI techniques to analyse data and assist in the human decision-making process. Developing and employing methods to work on datasets that are too large, too complex, too varied or too fast for traditional approaches and techniques.
As well as cyber, data and AI digital apprenticeships, there are a wide range of business-relevant options, including software, infrastructure, network engineering, business analysis and digital marketing. This presents a wealth of opportunities for employers in insurance to equip themselves for their future business needs and individuals to begin or continue an exciting and fulfilling IT career.
BCS is the leading digital endpoint assessment organisation, having assessed more than 12,000 digital apprentices. It provides the opportunity for apprentices to join a community of 60,000+ IT professionals and enter the Register of Technical Professionals, RITTech.
Digital IT apprenticeships are a rewarding way to build a talented, progressive digital team. Find out more about the new and revised digital standards available by downloading our guide at:
Annette Allmark is head of apprenticeships of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT
Image credit | Ikon
Useful links for digital
For more information on digital apprenticeships, visit: bcs.org/digital-it-apprenticeships
To keep up with the latest on digital skills, register for the BCS Digital Skills Network, which launches in September, here: https://bit.ly/DSNCII
A handy guide to apprenticeships for employers:
A summary of the latest updates on the government incentives available for you and your business and BCS’s aligned activities and partnerships supporting the digital economy’s post-Covid-19 recovery: https://bit.ly/GovtSkillsIncentives
For the Institute for Apprenticeships Standards for all occupations, visit:
To hear directly from digital apprentices and employers, visit: https://bit.ly/2WcFjHQ