A number of employers in the insurance industry have made enormous strides in offering attractive careers that involve training, development and effective communication from within the organisation.

But because of the cost involved it has tended to be the larger companies that have been able to do this. As a lot of the industry is made up of small and medium-sized companies, targeting available resources is important.

Some smaller employers, however, have offered co-ordinated training programmes and promotion of professional qualifications. Surely it would be useful to be able to share some knowledge and experience of how companies have arranged and provided their training. And it might also be useful for employers to see how other companies have answered questions such as:

  • What long-term business benefits are expected from training and development of staff, including professional qualifications?
  • How can these benefits be measured and how has this influenced directors in agreeing training budgets?
  • What differences have been perceived in the organisation by staff and how has this changed their attitudes and behaviour?
  • How have potential and existing customers perceived the changes in the organisation following staff development programmes?
  • What would be done differently in future programmes of staff development and other investment in people?

    Insurance Times has joined forces with Searchlight Solutions to provide a programme for employers looking to raise their own standards and reflect the industry-wide desire to make insurance more attractive for people as a career.

    Mark Redfern, a director of Searchlight Solutions says: “We were looking to react to a lot of comment made within the insurance industry, that we as an industry need to be more attractive to bring people in from outside the industry.

    “We need to be seen as a professional industry that will invest in the future. Training is one area where employers can make a clear statement about how they view their staff.”

    Redfern sees the Investors in People awards as one way companies can bring their workforce into the future plans of the company.

    And he believes small companies should group together to take advantage of training facilities that normally would only be available to the larger firms. “There is no reason why training facilities cannot be on a shared basis,” he says.

    Several employers have already joined the scheme, which will be starting soon. Over the course of the next 12 months Insurance Times will be tracking their progress and reporting on what worked best and how others might use the experience to help themselves.

    This scheme is not just for those companies which wish to spend a lot of money. In all companies there is something which with a little help can be turned from a problem no one talks about into a selling point for the company.

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