Despite the competitive salaries, good job security and high-level of satisfaction enjoyed by those in the industry, insurance remains one of the less appealing professions for many young people.
Of course, there has been a noticeable uptick in advocacy in recent years and insurance is gradually taking on a new reputation – but is enough really being done to drive change?
James Pearsons is a senior account executive at Marsh and was recently recognised as a regional finalist in the 2018 NIBA Young Broker of the Year Awards. He told Insurance Business that not enough is being done to reach university students.
“Little is known or talked about the industry at universities. It’s all banking, finance and accounting. No-one ever talked about a career in insurance,” he said.
Pearsons, who completed his Masters of Business in 2012, also said that if more young people knew about the variety insurance broking offers, they’d find the career path more appealing.
“The industry combines all aspect of a business,” he said. “Every day I have to review, understand and know my clients’ businesses. In the same conversation I can be reviewing a company’s finances and discussing risk management strategies on the potential investment of that business for their future.”
However, newly-appointed YIPs president Katie Stephenson said there’s been a huge improvement in university outreach in recent years.
“There’s certainly been a big step up in the market in the last couple of years and I think that was probably spurred from the huge age gap – you were either newly entered into the industry or you were nearly retired,” she told Insurance Business. “Bodies like ANZIIF and NIBA and YIPs have taken more of a proactive step to engage talent to come into the industry so I wouldn’t say we’re lacking in that because it’s certainly a hell of a lot better than it was five years ago.”
While Stephenson says efforts have skyrocketed in recent years, she did confirm that one of her key ambitions as YIPs president would be to further promote the industry as a viable career option.
“Over the next couple of years, the focus will be engaging new talent into the industry,” she said. “We’re looking to bring a lot of light into focus for graduates to enter into the insurance industry because it is such a great career and I think once you enter it, there’s a lot of diversity.”