When it comes to the insurance industry, a lot of organisations talk the talk about training and development but don’t necessarily walk the walk.
Among those that do, however, there are incredible traineeships and graduate programs in place, along with mentorships, getting the next generation of leaders ready.
However, when it comes to training programs, sometimes brokers are left behind, especially if they’re not located in London. Programs aren’t necessarily designed for them, and while many provide great benefits, they don’t perfectly fit their needs.
That is why Bravo Group decided to do something about it - creating something new to cater for employees and members across the group, which consists of Broker Network, Compass and Ethos Broking.
Insurance Business UK spoke to Gail Braithwaite, head of learning at Bravo Group, about the new apprenticeship scheme for its employees and members.
“A lot of the apprenticeships are designed for the insurers and not for the smaller brokers,” she explained, when asked what was different about its proposition.
Braithwaite explained that the scheme started after a conversation with RSA - she enquired about if the organisation would be interested in sponsoring some apprenticeships at Bravo and getting involved.
“They took the offer up immediately because RSA is all about increasing professionalism in the industry,” she said.
“Then we were working with the CII to see how we could get this out to regional brokers who probably don’t have a good understanding of apprenticeships. People have a misunderstanding of old-style apprenticeships.”
The scheme has a number of elements, but one of the most important in Braithwaite’s opinion is that all of the apprentices are being brought together, sharing their experience and learning from each other.
“One of the biggest things that we’re trying to do is collaborative learning,” she explained. “If you think about all of these independent brokers who would be sitting in isolation studying for the CII certificate qualification, what we’re doing is bringing them together as a group.
“So, they learn from each other and they learn from industry experts that we bring in as we’ll do additional webinars and virtual classrooms.”
When the scheme was launched at the end of June, all 17 apprentices, who range in age from 19 to 50-something, were brought to London to meet. They got to celebrate the launch and tour the heart of insurance in the UK, Lloyd’s of London.
“If you think some of these staff don’t come out of their regional offices. They all really valued the day,” Braithwaite said.
And bringing the group together is going to be a regular occurrence, so they can continue to learn together and build their networks.
“We’re going to bring them together face to face once a month, so that they actually start to build up their own network among themselves,” Braithwaite said. “If you think about the staff at their level, they probably wouldn’t have a huge network in the industry - what we’re trying to do is connect them with insurers, with subject matter experts in the industry, with the CII.”
Overall, it’s a new way to go about training, one that Bravo is extremely happy about. The group is already looking to the future, planning for the next cohort of apprentices.
“It’s quite unique in the work we’ve been doing with the CII in making sure the apprenticeship standard is actually appropriate for brokers as opposed to just the industry as a whole,” Braithwaite said.
“Then we’ve been working with Babington to tailor that for a broking environment, not just an insurance environment. And working with RSA on this is absolutely fantastic too.”