No risk when it comes to apprentices at leading insurance broker
As one of the largest insurance brokerage and risk management companies in the world, training and developing employees is crucial to the success of Arthur J. Gallagher.
Employing 150 people in Llantrisant, Cardiff, Newport and Talbot Green, the company initiated its apprenticeship programme when it identified a skills gap in the market.
It realised that many jobseekers who may possess excellent customer service skills did not necessarily have the insurance skills required for their new customer contact strategy. In 2010, the company began working with learning provider Acorn Learning Solutions Ltd to address the skills gap.
Now the investment has been rewarded as the company has been shortlisted for Medium Employer of the Year award at this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which take place at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on October 20.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the prestigious awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals, employers and learning providers who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships, Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeship programmes.
Funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund, the awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.
“The apprenticeship programme allows us to recruit people with no insurance background but who are the right fit for our organisation and in return they gain the technical skills and knowledge they require through a work-based programme,” said Mike Jones, regional managing director for Arthur J. Gallagher Wales.
The company provides three different levels of apprenticeships to new and existing staff, from Foundation to Higher Apprenticeships, offering a range of opportunities that fit within the company’s business model. It currently has 38 apprentices in Wales and, in the past five years, 74 employees have completed an apprenticeship.
“Implementing the apprenticeship programme to aid our commitment to enhancing the skills, qualifications and job satisfaction of our workforce has directly contributed to increased revenue and improved customer feedback.” added Mike.
Helena Williams of Acorn, said: “AJG are an outstanding employer that has put their people’s development at the forefront of their business model using apprenticeships as the vehicle to drive this forward.”
Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science Julie James congratulated Arthur J. Gallagher and the other 32 shortlisted award finalists. “We are proud to be delivering one of the most successful apprenticeship programmes in Europe with success rates in Wales remaining well above 80 per cent,” she said.
“Developing skilled people is vital for our economy. We have some truly exceptional apprentices here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements. Equally important are the learning providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their apprentices.”