Raising the profile of insurance's young professionals

They can help solve a key dilemma for the sector

Raising the profile of insurance's young professionals



The following article is written by Liz Foster, non-executive director of the CII’s professional broking community.

Have you noticed the increased profile of young insurance professionals across the sector? Those involved in underwriting, broking and claims handling are making their presence and opinions felt,  which can only be a great thing for insurance and for the long-standing issue of finding and retaining talent.

For over 10 years the CII has been encouraging firms within the sector to nominate young professionals to join the annual New Gen programme and this initiative has most definitely been a successful one. The early days of making calls to firms to encourage them to take up places are long gone, and applications exceed places. Being in the room on the launch day for the current New Gen groups (one each for underwriting, broking and claims) there was a palpable buzz; the young professionals were very focused and full of ideas for their respective group’s research paper; they had questions to ask of the more experienced in the room, and they were keen to express how much value they placed on the opportunity presented to them.

BIBA 2023 included a Young Broker Day and with the BIBA conference exceeding 9,000 delegates for the first time ever, the young professionals were out in force. Whether taking to the stage, visiting the stands, attending plenary  and breakout sessions, or networking in general, they were an obvious and vibrant presence. Hopefully this was noticed by the group of visiting school students.

The WCI and iWin, iCAN and the local insurance institutes and professional communities and societies benefit the development of young professionals across the country, as well as benefitting from the contributions made by this eager, knowledgeable, and energetic generation.

These insurance sector newbies are, of course, skilful in their use of social media; they have embraced remote learning and in the early months of COVID, were using CII webinars to extend their knowledge both of technical subjects and the softer skills. Online communication is second nature to them, but given their in-person presence – whenever the opportunity arises – they clearly have the appetite for networking too.

So, how to build on all of this and solve the talent acquisition and retention dilemma?

Organisations that have encouraged their young professionals to get out there and embrace opportunities are to be applauded, and are surely setting an example to those that don’t see value  outside of being behind a desk and attacking the keyboard. Is the recent headline “How to tackle the talent question in ‘old’ and ‘boring’ insurance sector” a result of the latter approach? 

Apprenticeships and graduate schemes are available  to those interested in a career in insurance, as has been the case for many years. However, interest must be sparked at a younger age in order to bring attention to these opportunities.

Could the energy, enthusiasm, and positive experience of  young professionals be communicated to schools, colleges and universities through a concerted effort that  brings together insurers, brokers, loss adjusters, the CII, BIBA, the WCI and other insurance related groups?

Ask the young professionals and they will sort it! 

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