The careers fair season is underway and one organisation that has noticed a significant increase in student and graduate interest is The Insurance Institute of Ireland, the leading provider of insurance education in Ireland.
Having attended careers fairs around the country, including the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair in the RDS, the University of Limerick fair and careers events in NUI Galway, the organisation has been overwhelmed by the number of students and graduates keen to begin a career in the insurance industry.
“Students from all backgrounds have been approaching us to find out more about entry paths to the industry – from data analysts to accountants, even historians,” said Paula Hodson, Director of Development Services at The Insurance Institute. “It’s a very positive outlook for the industry that old fashioned notions of insurance being boring or all about sales are starting to diminish, so that companies can now start to recruit the very best talent from across a range of sectors. Students are beginning to see the wide range of opportunities a career in insurance can provide.”
New Apprenticeship Scheme for School Leavers
The insurance industry has championed several initiatives to generate interest in a career in the sector, including a new apprenticeship scheme for school leavers that has been recently approved by the Apprenticeship Council. “A university education just doesn’t guarantee a job at the end anymore,” Ms Hodson noted. “Graduates are coming out of third level institutes without many of the key skills and competencies that employers are looking for.
Our goal is that the apprenticeship scheme will offer a credible alternative to the university route, allowing school leavers to earn a professional Level 7 qualification while gaining valuable on the job training.” A recent study conducted by the University of Limerick found that employers are looking for more than just academic success in their recruits, but also soft skills such as communication, leadership and customer focus.
It is intended that the apprenticeship programme will address these specific competencies, along with technical and academic knowledge, to provide school leavers with the key transferable skills to succeed in any sector.
“What people perhaps don’t realise is that insurance isn’t just about claims or underwriting – there is a huge amount of diversity from IT to business development or even marketing,” commented Ms Hodson.
“The key skills and competencies that insurance professionals learn from the outset are transferable to any industry – so, we anticipate that the apprenticeship will prove extremely popular and will help to grow our CEOs and Senior Executives of the future.”
It is expected that the apprenticeship programme will launch in late 2016. To learn more about a career in insurance, click here.
A useful guide for parents with children thinking about a career in insurance can be found here.
Visit the Insurance Institute of Ireland website here.