‘Apprenticeships have been another way’ to attract young people to the industry, says chair

The war for talent in today’s job market has spared few industries – with the insurance sector no exception.

Figures published by Aviva last year for the insurer’s Broker Barometer showed that 98% of brokers were currently recruiting for roles in their business, with more than half (53%) of these firms revealing that a vacancy had been open for four months or more.

One way to fill job roles without attracting talent from other industries is to employ young people at the start of their careers, but this is also an approach beset by hurdles.

Research commissioned and published by specialist insurer Ecclesiastical back in in 2018 revealed that 80% of brokers were aiming to attract younger talent, but that a staggering 52% encountered difficulties recruiting individuals aged 30 and below.

Nearly half (46%) of the 250 brokers surveyed by in 2018 were concerned about a potential talent crisis in the industry – and it’s fair to say this problem has not gone away in the five years since. 

Ecclesiastical’s data was backed up by conversations with young brokers, who suggested that young people don’t see broking as an exciting career choice.

It is evident that was a perception of insurance as an unexciting career choice among the younger generation back then, but is this still the case in 2023? 

Youthful perceptions

Speaking as part of a panel entitled Insurance Broking – What Does Good Look Like at the Biba Conference last week (11 May 2023), Partners& client advisor Florence Dennis told the audience that the next generation of leaders saw the insurance industry as “old [and] boring”.

This is how people outside the industry, and especially younger people, “view the profession at the moment” she said.

”It is about educating people about what we do because [the industry] is not viewed as a profession”, she added.

Dennis is also the chair of the East Midlands Biba Committee for young brokers, where she goes into schools to talk to students about the insurance industry and shares her experiences and views in the hope of encouraging students to pursue a career in the insurance industry.

Interest building?

Dennis’ work with the young brokers committee certainly puts her in front of potential future insurance sector employees, but once the industry has the attention of the next generation – how can it convince them that a career in insurance is truly attractive?

Speaking as part of the panel at Biba, Partners& group sales director Jon Miller said that the diversity of potential roles in the sector was one selling point.

He explained that there were roles such as “marketing” “finance” and more which “advocate for [insurance business] as a whole”.

However, Miller added that making the next generation aware of these opportunities was key.

Miller said that “talking to kids about career sources, how [can they] get there and what to do” was the way forward in attracting and retaining talent within the insurance industry.

Laura Hancock, chair of the CII’s Broking Community Board and managing director of Yutree Insurance, added that apprenticeships were one key route the sector could leverage to help young talent into insurance careers.

She said that “apprenticeships have been great” for Yutree and were not restricted to just new starters, young people or trade roles.

“[Apprenticeships] bring people in from the ground up, train them and give them qualifications with the backing of a college,” she explained.

Dennis added: “If you invest in [apprentices], they will invest in you”.

Apprenticeships could be the path forward for the insurance industry and could allow the sector to nurture the next generation of professionals before they bloom into skilled and knowledgeable experts.