Out-going CII president says ‘Apprentices should be a priority’


Ashwin Mistry has hailed the value of apprenticeships, advising Insurance businesses to prioritise them when looking to bring new talent into the workforce.

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) president spoke exclusively to BPP Professional Apprenticeships and discussed the future of insurance apprenticeships and how businesses can get the best out of their young employees.

When asked where he thought apprenticeships ranked in terms of priority, the insurance specialist said: "They should be at the top of the list.

"When your most senior staff retire or move on, instead of resorting to fishing in an ever diminishing recruitment pool to replace them, you have your own established pool of talent coming through the ranks."

The Brokerbility chairman went on: "Businesses have the opportunity to shape and develop their young apprentices without the encumbrance of previous employment. I am convinced that a fresh pair of eyes moving through the various departments in a business can also rejuvenate and motivate existing staff.

"More and more companies over the past year have embraced employing apprentices and are now advocates. It is up to all of us to keep spreading the word."

Mr Mistry, was instrumental in establishing Brokerbility Ltd in 2006, added that he believed the future of insurance apprenticeships will grow and discussed the changes in the perception of apprenticeships.

"They have become much more professional with an industry recognised qualification at the end of a structured and supported work and study based programme. It can be seen for some as a real alternative to university with all its time and cost implications," he said.

When asked how he thought jobs in insurance would increase as a chosen profession for young people, he added: "It takes time to change perceptions, particularly when the Insurance industry is probably guilty of not marketing itself effectively enough.

"Rigorous campaigns in schools at an early age along with raising awareness of Risk and its relevance to us all will increasingly help to make Insurance a profession of choice."

James Hammill, Director of national training provider BPP Professional Apprenticeships, commented: “The CII has been instrumental in raising awareness within the sector of the benefits of apprenticeships. It has been fantastic to see numbers grow during Ashwin’s presidential year.”