Ahead of 2017 National Apprenticeship Week (March 6th – 10th), two young apprentices from global insurer’s RSA offices in Halifax champion the benefits of being able to earn a wage, whilst gaining practical on the job training combined with study.
Co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, the 10th National Apprenticeship week is designed to celebrate the positive impact apprenticeships and traineeships have on individuals, businesses and the economy.
Andy Briggs, aged 19, is a claims handler with a financial services apprenticeship based at RSA’s Halifax office. Andy secured his apprenticeship after starting at university when he soon realised that a degree course was not for him. “University wasn’t right for me, instead the apprenticeship has enabled me to earn whilst I learn and that is very appealing. Not only am I getting paid to develop myself, but also I am building my skill base for the future – skills that I can use in other roles.”
Jessica Feldman, aged 18 is also a claims handler. The apprenticeship route appealed to her as it enabled her to become more independent. Jessica acknowledges the discipline needed to work and to study ensuring a good balance of her time for both. Jessica offers some sound advice for anyone interested in applying for an apprenticeship. “I would advise anyone who wasn’t 100% sure about going to uni to consider an apprenticeship, as you are building a strong foundation of qualifications and experience – both at the same time! Don’t go to uni just because your parents want you to. I have been amazed at the support you get in the workplace where everyone wants you to succeed.”
Ian Currie, UK motor & injury claims director, RSA: “All our apprentices are progressing well within the programme. They have started to build up the technical knowledge and operational skills aimed at enabling them to support our customers directly. It is great to hear that the apprentices are enjoying their experience and we have receive good feedback on their performance and progression from line managers and mentors.
“We expect them to take up various operational roles across our Claims function, and will work with them over the course of the programme to identify the best opportunities. We see the apprentices as key to our talent strategy and expect them to contribute to the success of RSA through continuing with their professional development with us.”
Global insurer RSA has employed apprentices for over four years throughout its UK offices and has won an industry award. In 2015 the company was shortlisted for Insurance Times Awards – Apprenticeship Scheme of the Year and Beth McNeil won Apprentice of The Year.
Kaplan is a leading provider of financial apprenticeships in the UK and work with RSA to recruit and train apprentices.
Elizabeth Edwards from Kaplan said: “From the creation of their apprenticeship programme, the whole team at RSA has fully embraced the idea of apprenticeships and has created a fantastic, valuable experience for their apprentices.”