Incoming CII president Michael Bright has told Insurance Times he will make young people wanting to enter the insurance industry the top priority for his coming year in office.

Revealing that his theme for the year would be “An industry of opportunity”, Bright says he wants to develop an “I want to” attitude among young people. “We're there below estate agents at the moment. People even want to be journalists. But the insurance industry is exciting. It's life. Every aspect is there,” he says.

And he insists insurance is a well-paid career. “The insurance industry pays a lot of money. You can earn a hell of a lot of money if you bust a gut and put a lot of time and effort in and have a bit of luck – because you need a bit of luck in life,” he says.

Bright, the head of Independent Insurance, says he also wants to bring the life side of the business more into the mainstream. He says this will take nothing away from the work of CII offshoot,

the Society of Financial Advisers (Sofa), and he does not want to just concentrate on issues surrounding selling but to look at wider issues too.

And Bright wants to take ecommerce forward, not just within the CII – it is looking at putting its library on the web – but within the industry. He is already looking at having an international panel of speakers on the subject at next year's CII conference.

“Ecommerce is moving very quickly at the moment but it is also very cloudy. We think that within 12 months the horizons will have cleared,” he says.

The CII is also considering having a recruitment fair at its Edinburgh conference next year.

Bright says he is simply carrying on the work of previous presidents. His company, Independent, was commissioned to look at the CII's marketing role and that work is now under review by the new director general Dr Sandy Scott, and others such as Axa's Andy Homer.

The CII also has Bob Scott of CGNU, looking at how it can better serve employers. “Nobody owes us a living. There's nothing that says the CII must exist. We have to demonstrate that what we do is worth it,” Bright says.

Rumours were circulating recently that Michael Bright might repaint the famous Independent bus in CII colours to tour the country but Bright denied it. “This isn't the Independent CII. It's a CII of which I am just a servant,” he said.

He also pointed out that the Independent bus had a tour of duty planned in Europe for much for the year and would not be available.