Zurich has invested £1 million in a workforce retraining programme aimed at addressing an anticipated skills gap in the next few years.
According to the insurance giant, it plans to upskill two-thirds of its manpower pool, or about 3,000 UK employees, for data literacy and various tech-driven competencies in the next half decade.
Zurich also said it has identified about 270 jobs in the fields of cybersecurity, data science, and robotics that could be left unfilled by 2024 if their workers are not reskilled.
The insurer added that by upskilling employees, the firm could save about £1 million in recruitment and redundancy costs.
Currently, several members of Zurich’s underwriting and claims, human resources, and finance teams are undergoing the retraining process.
John Keppel, chief operating officer at Zurich, said he expected the company to invest more in the programme, and, at the same time, slash costs associated with employee turnover.
“It isn’t about us spending money or avoiding costs, it’s about telling our people: there’s a change going on that’s likely to affect your skills and employability, and this is a chance to change that,” he said.
In the past few years, Zurich has introduced more than 120 new automated processes carrying out around a million individual transactions annually, including customer payment and policy documentation, with a further 100 in the pipeline. The number is expected to double in 2021.
“While we can’t ignore the benefits that automation brings, it’s important to retain, nurture and educate our teams,” he said. “It’s crucial that we factor the future skills requirements for the business into the process now. If we know what’s coming, we can start transitioning existing employees into new careers today.”