Oneglobal’s apprenticeship scheme gives individuals an opportunity to go straight into a paid role and gain a qualification along the way.
The apprenticeship scheme is advocated by Roger Spicer, who has taken up the role of Executive Sponsor, demonstrating the value of promoting talent and learning key skills via a blended learning approach.
And it’s not just for people interested in broking – with each cohort, we open up opportunities across a number of our departments, including IT, Account Management, Claims and more.
Now into its second round, we spoke to four of our apprentices who have just completed the first year of their 2-year course, as well as the HR Associate who supports and leads the apprentices throughout their journey, Chloe Smith, to see how the scheme’s helped propel them into the world of work.
Cut your teeth on the job
One theme that kept coming up in the conversation was around the transition from the familiar and safe setting at school, to the alien and rather daunting world of work. Each member found it a big shift initially, but now looking back to that moment nearly a year on, they could see they were in the right place to handle it.
Everyone’s very supportive, patient and happy to help. Shay Stewart-Poynter, an apprentice from our IBA team, picked up on how close knit her team are, ‘There are only five of us in the team, and even though everyone’s really busy, they always make time for me when I don’t understand something.’
But although that support is there when you need it, you’re also given a lot of trust to take responsibility of your working day. Not only does it force you to adjust quicker and learn faster, but it also makes the job a lot more fulfilling.
Gabriel Purkiss, an apprentice within our D&F broking team, talks about his experience: “I thought I was just going to be given a desk and computer, but that wasn’t the case. I’ve been given the whole insurance experience – meeting clients, getting involved with global transactions, and speaking to people from all over the world.”
All of our apprentices agreed that the qualifications are great for giving you that base-level knowledge in your chosen field, but it’s the learning on the job that’s brought the most value and enjoyment.
Make the most of a supportive network
Going through a scheme like this, you’ve always got your friends to lean on. Like Chloe Smith says, ‘If ever you’re having a down day or things are getting a little overwhelming, you can call on that support network.’ You’re all going through the same process, which makes it much less intimidating than starting out on your own.
You’ve also got your own team to call on. As Ciara, our accounts apprentice points out, ‘Everyone’s very supportive. My line manager is still taking her own exams, so she always makes sure I’ve got enough time to study.’ We’ve created a safe space for people to develop – a place where no question is a silly question, and they can confidently reach out to people when they don’t ‘get it’ first time.
Each of our apprentices have a mentor too. Someone impartial who isn’t part of their team that they can really open up to and learn from. Cian, our IT apprentice, jokes he and his mentor ‘regularly go over the allotted time’, but the relationship’s been invaluable. ‘They’ve been in your shoes at one point or another, so they can help you navigate those tricky situations you’re unfamiliar with.’
Get a head start on uni grads
Going down the university route certainly has its perks, but it’s not for everyone, and Chloe points out how apprentices can get ahead of uni grads when taking up a scheme like ours, ‘Learning on the job like we have done means you’ve got all this experience behind you that uni grads have to catch up on.’
And the team are already looking forward to their next opportunities to learn and improve. Even though they are over halfway through their apprenticeship programme, all four of them talk about other, more bespoke qualifications they’ve got their eye on.
But they’re also looking forward to some much-deserved time away from the books. As Gabriel put it, ‘It’ll be nice having a break from studying, so I can purely handle what I’ve got on from day to day and really sink my teeth into the role.’
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A big thanks goes to Cian, Shay, Gabriel and Ciara for sharing their experience. If you’re interested in getting involved in our scheme, get in touch with Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be back to you when the next round of opportunities open up.