Apprentices are getting younger as university fees become prohibitive – and they will be needed to fill a growing skills gap in the industry

Apprenticeships were once the standard route by which young people entered working life. The schemes waned for some decades, but it’s pleasing to see their resurgence, sitting alongside the many graduate schemes in the Lloyd’s market and the Lloyd’s Market Association’s own apprenticeship programme.

Two notable trends can be seen at Lloyd’s. The first is the age of people beginning apprenticeships. In the past, the market has sought graduates for training, but the sharp rise in tuition fees, putting university beyond the reach of many students, has led some Lloyd’s managing agents to offer development packages to 18-year-old school leavers.

Secondly, there is a need for apprentices to fill a growing skills gap. As a generation of highly skilled practitioners retires, the 30 to 40-year-olds, who have moved job every few years, have lost out on some of the traditional learning. The market is relying on today’s apprentices to close this crucial gap.

David Gittings is chief executive of Lloyd’s Market Association