Wiser Academy chief executive Crescens George is launching a new initiative, Rise Up Insurance, to encourage more young people to take up insurance as a career.
Mr George explained that, with the sector facing its biggest recruitment crisis for many years, ‘imaginative new thinking, which we’re calling ‘Rise Up,’ is needed to highlight the opportunities for young talent in the insurance sector, especially broking.’
He said: “We are targeting 10,000 students with the aim of getting at least 500 to join us for a series of boot camps during the summer. The boot camps will be organised and operated by Wiser Academy staff and be held in London, Birmingham and Manchester, as well as Scotland and Northern Ireland.”
He continued: We’ll teach students the basics of insurance but also good practice and workplace behaviours and then help polish up their interview skills and prepare their CVs. We will then go out to our contacts in the industry with a class of enthusiastic, young people ready for interview, with the basic skill set, and enthusiastic about working in insurance.”
He said his minimum expectation is to place at least 200 young people into the profession, but “would love to get all 500 into our industry, which desperately needs new blood.”
Mr George said that the Wiser Academy has written to 3,000 secondary schools, and is also looking for speaking slots at assemblies and other school careers fairs to talk directly to 17-18 year old students and explain what the insurance industry can offer.
The initiative comes on the back of a recent report from Aviva, published in April, which found that 99% of local brokers have a vacancy. 59% of those have vacancies which have been open for more than four months. The situation is similar for regional and national brokers; all the national brokers and almost all regional broker have job opportunities and long-standing unfilled vacancies.
THE RACE FOR TALENT
Commenting on the initiative, Dave Clapp, CEO of Ataraxia and MVP Broking Group said: “I am massively impressed with the work Cres and the team are doing to help us and our brokers attract talent into the industry, there is a real shortage of talent out there and growing our own talent will pay dividends in the future, Insurance is a fantastic career and I strongly recommend it.”
Julian Shawcross, Director of PHP Insurance, said: “It’s fantastic to see Wiser Academy taking bringing innovation to the insurance sector. We strongly support what Cres and the team are doing and will certainly be in the queue to explore career opportunities for young talent coming out of the process later this year.”
Mr George said: “We have to encourage young people into the industry if we are going to thrive and prosper in the future. We can’t expect talent to come knocking on our doors of their own accord, especially given the competition from other industry sectors.”
“We need to be much more aggressive in our recruitment strategy. Those of us working in the industry understand that insurance is a fantastic career choice, but we need to be much smarter in the way we recruit.”