The CII’s Daniel Pedley talks about the challenge of navigating the array of options facing students now the exam results are in

August is always results season and young people, whether having completed their GCSEs or A levels, have important choices to make about their futures.

Making an informed choice is not as easy as it could be as there are an array of options whatever the result. While the focus tends to be on university recent research by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development showed a degree might not always be the best way to meet career aspirations.

There are other options open to students including school-leaver programmes and apprenticeships. These are increasingly popular with young people and employers alike. We are witnessing this trend in insurance - last year saw a 20% rise in new technical apprenticeships across our sector and we appear to be on course to repeat this increase in 2015. Apprenticeships provide a meaningful way into our profession, include recognised and relevant professional qualifications and can be the first step to a successful career in insurance.

For a profession to be competitive, both now and in the future, it requires a strong talent pipeline. Making multiple entry points at a variety of levels is a key component of this and we are seeing companies of all sizes from across the sector embrace this concept with apprentice, graduate and open entry schemes.

As insurance looks to develop numerous talent streams, it also has to understand the need to promote the opportunities on offer. Young people making career choices will not be interested in insurance if they don’t know about it as a career prospect. It is also important to make links with teachers, who remain a key influencer of students’ career choices.

Initiatives like CII’s Discover Risk are vital to this, promoting insurance and the wide range of roles available to the next generation, in schools, colleges and universities. Discover Risk events are supported by employers and practitioners who share their first hand experiences with the students and, importantly, their teachers. This advocacy is vital in showcasing what our profession has to offer.

The CII is currently developing a Discover Risk app so that we can still reach out to students even if we are unable to deliver a face-to-face event.

Through Discover Risk’s student and teacher network, or simply through local contacts, you can develop a relationship with nearby schools and colleges to raise awareness of the careers insurance can offer and potentially create a pipeline of local talent. The opportunity is there, go and grab it!

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