An extended period of slow growth will the attractiveness of the insurance sector to job candidates

This week, Insurance Times has spoken to seven individuals, aged from 18 to 80, who represent a broad cross-section of today’s industry. Their experience shows that the routes into the sector remain many and varied. This story applies equally to the diverse career paths they have taken. And for the enthusiastic entrepreneur, as we show, there’s no such thing as a statutory retirement age.

However, nearly a year on from the publication of the CII’s Aldermanbury Declaration to raise professional standards across the industry, skills shortages remain a headache for brokers and insurers alike. Head hunters report that there are still more top jobs available than good candidates to fill them.

Long term, the uncertain economic climate is a boon for those seeking to promote recruitment into the industry. A prolonged period of slow growth surely increases the attractiveness of a steady sector like insurance. And some talented school leavers may opt for industry apprenticeships rather than fork?out for increasingly hefty university fees.

Better training will undoubtedly help to widen the pool of talent available to the industry. But paper qualifications, as worthwhile as these are, can never be the whole story. There are enough people with technical qualifications for the top jobs – the issue is getting individuals with commercial savvy as well. Old-fashioned intuition counts too.

Such skills can’t be taught in the classroom. The shop floor remains the place that tomorrow’s industry leaders will learn some of their most important lessons. IT