A recent survey from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has revealed the insurance industry is suffering from a skills shortage, with four out of five companies struggling to find the employees they need.
In the last 2 years employers in the insurance industry have responded to the CII stating that the shortage of technically skilled employees has risen from 59% to 81%. This has coincided with a decline in confidence of the UK insurance industry to compete on the global scale from 16% in 2013 to 26% in 2015.
The overall lack of technically skilled employees has affected all sections of the insurance industry; from broking and claims to the London Market. But one of the key areas experiencing a skills gap is underwriting, which has risen to a 95% shortage from 71% last year.
The recession had a major impact in the shortage of skilled staff; as employees were made redundant and the budgets towards training were cut. Another one of the main causes behind the shortage of skilled staff has been the intense competition in attracting and maintaining high calibre personnel.
“Over the next 20 years the challenge for the insurance industry will be for it to be fully recognised as a ‘true profession’ in the same way as law or accountancy."
There has been a 48% rise in training and development, which is an 11% increase from the previous year. A significant portion of this funding has been geared towards the recruitment of graduates and apprentices that want to build their career.
“Most welcoming is the fact that employers are now using various methods to attract new and diverse talent not just with graduate schemes but with apprenticeships as well.”
Heather Wheeler, Conservative MP and chair of the APPG on Insurance and Financial Services
Insurers such as Zurich and Hiscox have found their own ways to tackle the skills gap. This was discussed at an Insurance Times breakfast roundtable, held in association with Guidewire, which brought together senior underwriters from the UK GI industry to discuss these challenges.
“The education system in the UK is not aligned to the world of work and there is huge variation in how well schools prepare their students for future careers. Employers need to work closer with schools to ensure young people develop the skills for the workplace.”
Be Wiser which invests strategically in the training and development of its employees. Be Wiser provides in house training to over 250 apprentices studying towards Certificates or Diplomas in Insurance from the CII.
Furthermore Be Wiser actively engages with the local community. On the 10th of November Be Wiser will be hosting an event at John Hanson School in Andover with a key note speech from the former BBC Apprentice winner Mark Wright.