The insurer will broaden the size of its scheme to support and attract young people into the industry, it says

Insurer Zurich has launched a plan to attract young people into the insurance industry.

The Kick Start Mentors programme, launched last week (9 March 2023), will now be rolled out in partnership with five state-funded secondary schools as part of its Early Careers scheme.

Exactly 80 pupils have already signed up to be mentored by 24 specially trained Zurich future leaders who work in various business areas across the UK.

The scheme will aim to attract young people from Birmingham, Hampshire and the London boroughs of Waltham Forest, Croydon and Newham, where Zurich has offices.

An official launch follows a successful pilot in 2022 with 25 students from Heathcote School and Science College in Waltham Forest and St Bonaventure’s RC School in Newham.

This year the pilot sites will be joined by Holyhead School in Birmingham, Thomas More Catholic School and Sixth Form in Croydon and The Sixth Form College Farnborough.

Half of last year’s students have gone on to complete additional work experience placements with the insurer, with some additional students going on to become ambassadors for the programme to attract and support the next cohort within their schools.

Exciting project

David Nichols, head of Zurich’s UK retail business and sponsor of Kickstart Mentors, said: “This is an exciting project for us as we look to attract the next generation of talent to our business, many of whom would never consider the insurance sector.

“Through our pilot, we got to work with some wonderful young people whose insights and ideas help us to better understand our customers and communities.”

Running over six months, the Kick Start Mentors programme will see Zurich employees and students mentor and learn from each other.

The insurer said the sessions would cover CV building, successful networking and the breadth of career options in insurance – from data science and analytics through to marketing and underwriting.

At the same time, mentees will be asked to share their own insights into the challenges they are facing, such as access to different industries and whether they have role models in senior positions.

Catherine Cole, principal at The Sixth Form College Farnborough, said: “Kickstart is a fantastic initiative for us to be involved with.

“As educators, we play a vital role in helping to lay the foundations for successful futures.

“By working with businesses such as Zurich, we can build on this by preparing students for the world of work and making them aware of the many opportunities open to them.”

Leo Docherty, MP for Aldershot said: “Zurich is doing a fantastic job of engaging with the students at Farnborough and other schools to encourage them to think about their future careers.

“Kick Start Mentoring is a great way of attracting diverse talent through routes such as its apprenticeship schemes.

“We’re hopeful that many of the students involved will consider these and also take advantage of invaluable work experience and the opportunity to build their professional networks.”

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