When you think of apprenticeships what do you imagine? A plumber, Electrician or other trades? One apprenticeship I never thought of is Insurance. The more time spent with the Directors and apprentices I can see the benefits each party receives. But don’t take my word for it, I went to ask the Masters and Padawans about their experience.
I asked director, Neil “Obi-Wan” Grimshaw, why does Ravenhall have apprentices and what is the benefit? He said:
“Apprentices are an investment in future staff and having the right pipeline of people is as important as a pipeline of new business.”
I fired the same question to “Yoda” himself director James Daly and he responded with:
“Business culture is a vital thing. It informs the question of why we do things rather than the more basic technical how. But culture has to be nurtured to create professionals of the future who have the confidence to always treat customers fairly and provide them with solutions that truly meet their needs. Being able to mentor and support staff from the beginning of their career and know that wherever this leads them personally their career will be built on the foundations we create now is what makes apprenticeships such a key part of our obligation as business owners. Its what makes me want to run a business in many ways.”
If that doesn’t speak wisdom I don’t know what does. The pride the directors have for their apprentices is evident.
Let us change worlds and ask the apprentices about being the actual apprentice. I caught up with Adam and Julia and I asked Adam about his apprenticeship with Ravenhall:
“Starting out in an industry in which I didn’t even think of working in and knowing absolutely nothing about it is daunting. But through the support of the company and getting the training provided, I have been able to develop my knowledge and understanding of what goes on the in the insurance market. I have learnt that I am no different to any other employee in the business and that “apprentice” is only a title. The opportunities to learn and progress have been the same as everyone else’s that I work alongside, whereas I will have benefited from achieving my Certificate through my apprenticeship.”
“I love the fact that I can use my experiences and equine knowledge in a job to be able to help others. Few people get to work in an industry that they have a passion for and I feel privileged to be able to do that. I enjoy learning about the different covers available and communicating with the clients whilst also developing my knowledge of insurance. Occasionally I get involved in the claims process which I find interesting to see the relationship between the solicitors and insurers, and how we all work together to get the best result.”
As you can see the apprenticeships are worth it and are beneficial to both parties. To repeat what James said “Business culture is a vital thing” and the evidence that the only way an apprenticeship can work is if the business culture is correct resulting in when apprenticeships end they stay with the company.
May the force be with you!