Covéa's Jonny Spencer talks about his apprenticeship journey
Authored by Covéa
This National Apprenticeship Week find out more about how Jonny kick started his career at Covéa and where his apprenticeship has taken him
Apprenticeships are for anyone of any age and can be a great stepping stone in your career. Did you know Gordon Ramsay, Sir Alex Ferguson and Elvis all started their careers as apprentices? You never know where an apprenticeship can take you.
Our Analytics and Insights Senior, Jonny Spencer, definitely didn’t realise where his Level 2 Contact Centre Consultant Apprenticeship would take him when he started at Covéa Insurance 6 years ago.
“I heard about Covéa through a friend who already worked, and still does, work here. The way he spoke about the company, the culture and the people here persuaded me to apply. When I was 18 I wanted to be a Graphic Designer and actually applied for an apprenticeship in Marketing. I unfortunately didn’t get that apprenticeship but as luck would have it there was an opening in another team. So I applied for the Level 2 Contact Centre Consultant Apprenticeship, got accepted, and kick started my career at Covéa Insurance.”
Jonny’s Level 2 apprenticeship took a year to complete. “Working at Covéa has been my first and only job so coming into the company at 18 I knew nothing about insurance or what it was like to work at all. Doing the apprenticeship was so good because in such a short space of time it improved my understanding of the business, the products we offer and the way our business is run. When I first started I wasn’t confident answering calls from customers, so to think now, 6 years on, I’m able to confidently hold meetings with a number of different people and not worry, it’s such a difference!”
After completing his apprenticeship, and thanks to a maternity cover opening, Jonny was able to take his newly gained skills and knowledge into a new team and took a temporary transfer to the M.I & Data Analysis team as a Resource Planner. “I jumped at the chance” Jonny says, “I really like learning on the job and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do just that.”
The MI & Data Analysis team do such a wide range of things including; reporting from an insurance and performance perspective, resource planning for the contact centre and supporting the management teams in identifying areas for improvement. “When I was given more tasks and started to solve problems through data, I was really enjoying it” Jonny says “When the maternity cover finished I could have gone back to the consultant role I’d left but the operation had grown so much in such a short time that I was able to stay in the MI team as an official MI Analyst.”
Some companies have certain career paths for their people to follow but at Covéa individuals are encouraged to set personal growth plans and if they show an interest in a different area, then it’s something that can be discussed with each respective manager. For Jonny, he’s worked in 3 different teams during his 6 years and says “I’ve always been supported in moving through the roles by managers, especially when I moved into Digital in 2018.”
Not satisfied with the one apprenticeship qualification already under his belt, Jonny completed a Level 5 – Leadership and Management apprenticeship in November 2021, paid for by the business through the Apprenticeship Levy. The course took a little longer than planned because of the pandemic, but Jonny says that “as challenging as the Level 5 was, there’s definitely a benefit in completing an apprenticeship whilst also still doing your day job. Covéa supported me by giving me a day off every week to dedicate solely to my apprenticeship and on those days I’d either be going to college for lectures (before they were virtual), completing assignments or gathering work based evidence to support my qualification. The support I also received from different areas and managers across the business was great. The managers would give me the opportunity to be involved in so many things to help me with my learnings.”
The course was run in partnership with Calderdale College in Halifax and Jonny met people from different organisations across both the public and private sectors.
When asked if he’d go for a third apprenticeship Jonny laughs “No, not at the minute but I do really recommend people doing one at some point in their career if it suits them. For me, during the Level 5, the learnings I gained from my colleagues across the business who’ve got a wealth of experience was second to none. I initially wanted to do Graphic Design, but now I want to stick in a Digital environment for the foreseeable.”
There are many opportunities at Covéa – you can start your career in one role and finish in another. Jobs titles and roles aren’t forever, but your interest and enthusiasm for what you do should be.
Covéa Insurance is the UK underwriting business of the leading French mutual insurance Group Covéa and offers competitively-priced household and motor insurance, along with a range of commercial insurance products designed to meet the needs of most businesses, through a nationwide network of intermediaries.
Regional distribution teams based in 9 regional offices offer brokers and insurance intermediaries direct access to senior underwriters. Covéa Insurance handles the insurance needs of over 1 million policyholders.