Boost for pioneering apprenticeship scheme

David Tucker

Published 11/08/2015 | 00:00

CEO of Zurich in Ireland Conor Brennan.
CEO of Zurich in Ireland Conor Brennan.
Zurich's headquarters in Drinagh, Wexford.

Zurich Insurance plc has welcomed the recent approval by the Apprenticeship Council of its application to develop a new apprenticeship scheme for the insurance industry. The General Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship will offer young people a credible alternative to third level education supported by approved qualifications and valuable on-the-job experience.

Zurich will lead the development of the scheme from its Wexford centre of excellence at Drinagh in collaboration with Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI), The Insurance Institute of Ireland (III) and the wider insurance industry including brokers and other insurers, with the aim of offering training and job placement opportunities to young people wishing to upskill and start a career within the insurance industry.

As part of the scheme, apprentices will receive formal training as well as practical on-site learning to support the development of their business skills, all of which will lead to a General Insurance Practitioner qualification. Development of the scheme will begin immediately with plans to roll out the apprenticeship in autumn 2016.

The announcement reinforces Zurich's commitment to tackling unemployment on the back of its launch earlier this year of a dedicated Insurance Traineeship Programme for the Wexford area. The traineeship, developed in partnership with Waterford Wexford Training Services, will commence in early September, offering 16 people a one-year training and job placement opportunity at the insurer's Drinagh business centre. At a global level, Zurich is a longstanding supporter of apprenticeship programmes in countries including Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

CEO of Zurich in Ireland Conor Brennan said, 'We are delighted to have received approval from the Apprenticeship Council for this important initiative which will support young people by helping them find an alternative path into the workforce. This scheme provides young people full of potential with the opportunity to realise an exciting career within the insurance industry, and we look forward to leading its development in the coming months in collaboration with our peers.'

Located in Wexford and Dublin, Zurich is one of Ireland's leading general insurance companies offering a wide range of products, from Private Motor, Home and Farm Insurance to Engineering and Commercial Property Insurance. The insurer's Drinagh office also boasts cutting edge technology which was put in place to facilitate the speedy processing of claims and enquiries, while reducing paperwork.

Zurich Group has a total of over 1,200 employees across its life and general insurance businesses in Ireland. The Group's European general insurance headquarters are located in Dublin and employ over 17,000 people across Europe, the Middle East & Africa.

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