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Chief executive Crescens George said that the insurance industry is facing its biggest recruitment crisis in many years, leading him to establish Rise Up Insurance. This initiative will highlight the opportunities for young talent in the insurance sector, especially broking.

“The boot camps will be organised and operated by Wiser Academy staff and be held in London, Birmingham and Manchester, as well as Scotland and Northern Ireland,” George said. “We’ll teach students the basics of insurance but also good practice and workplace behaviours and then help polish up their interview skills and prepare their CVs. We will then go out to our contacts in the industry with a class of enthusiastic, young people ready for interview, with the basic skill set, and enthusiastic about working in insurance.”

George expects at least 200 of the boot camp attendees to enter the insurance industry, but he still has hopes that all 500 will make it.

In the initial phase of the initiative, Wiser Academy wrote to 3,000 secondary schools, and is also looking for speaking slots at assemblies and other school careers fairs to talk directly to 17- to 18-year-old students and explain what the insurance industry can offer.

The initiative follows a report from Aviva, published in April, which found that 99% of local brokers have a vacancy. 59% of those have vacancies which have been open for more than four months. The situation is similar for regional and national brokers, with the national brokers and almost all regional brokers having long-standing unfilled vacancies.

“We have to encourage young people into the industry if we are going to thrive and prosper in the future,” George said. “We can’t expect talent to come knocking on our doors of their own accord, especially given the competition from other industry sectors. We need to be much more aggressive in our recruitment strategy. Those of us working in the industry understand that insurance is a fantastic career choice, but we need to be much smarter in the way we recruit.”


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