Cross-industry group empowered to persuade young people to enter insurance

The CII is set to begin a major initiative to tackle the recruitment crisis that is facing the insurance industry, Insurance Times has learned.

A cross-industry working group has been set up to look at measures to encourage school leavers and graduates to enter the insurance industry.

The group will comprise senior figures from the composite and Lloyd's and London markets, including Royal & SunAlliance commercial director Brendan McManus and AXA distribution director Mark Cliff. The CII faculties will also be involved.

The work will be funded using some of the "substantial" legacy funds that were received from the GISC after it was wound up as the industry's regulator.

CII director general Sandy Scott said the starting point would be research conducted in association with Cass Business School. The school found that the insurance industry was failing to promote itself collectively to careers advisers and students, unlike, for example, the civil service, or the accountancy and legal professions.

Scott said the group would also seek input from younger industry employees, including the Insurance Times Young Professionals' Advisory Board.

"We will be discussing ideas with younger professionals and then get the backing of the senior group," said Scott.

He said the aim was to build on the Cass research and develop some measures that "the whole industry can agree on".

"It won't be radical, but we need to adopt best practice. Investment banks, accountancy firms and consultants have no trouble attracting the best people.

"Why are they so successful, and what can we [the insurance industry] do?"

The terms of reference for the project will be agreed at the CII board meeting this week.

Biba chief executive Eric Galbraith welcomed the move, saying: "We need to explain better the opportunities in insurance."

Towry Law Insurance Brokers managing director Martin Wright said the industry needed to promote areas such as the wide range of jobs available, travel opportunities, and the potential financial rewards.