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A step-by-step guide to applying for an apprenticeship

05-Apr-2017 09:27:00 / by The Insurance Institute

The Insurance Institute

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 If you're considering applying for next year's programme, these are the steps you'll need to take.


1.  Register your interest

First things first, you will need to register your details to join the list of interested candidates. Once you do this, we will be able to notify you as soon as employers come on board so you can be one of the first in with your application.

In addition, when you register your details, we’ll send you useful information on writing a great CV, building a solid personal online brand and how to conduct yourself in an insurance interview.

You'll be able to register your interest through earnandlearn.ie in the coming months.

 

2. Check the entry requirements

As the Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship is a level 8 honours degree programme, there are requirements you must meet for entry to the course. These vary depending on whether you’re under 23 or if you have worked in the insurance industry previously.

Aside from the academic entry requirements, individual employers may have specific entry requirements too – for example, they may be looking for someone with exceptional interpersonal or communication skills.

All apprentices must be at least 18 years of age to enter the programme.

 

3. Do your research

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship involves a choice of two separate streams – general insurance or life insurance/financial advice.

Working in the general insurance sector involves claims handling, underwriting and direct client advice. When you work in general insurance, you’ll be dealing with areas such as home insurance, motor and health, as well as commercial insurances like property or liability insurance. If you choose this stream, you’ll earn the Certified Insurance Practitioner (CIP) designation in addition to your level 8 degree.

If you choose to go down the life stream, you will work in areas like mortgages, investments, pensions or financial advice. If you choose the life route, you will earn the Qualified Financial Adviser (QFA) qualification in addition to your degree. This infographic explains more about the financial advice stream.

 

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4. Prepare your CV and cover letter

Once you have decided which stream you would like to work in – or perhaps you would like to apply for both – you will need to write an excellent CV and cover letter. You will apply directly to the company of your choice, many of whom will require you to email through your CV and cover letter. Others may have online application forms for you to complete.

Regardless of the application method, you will need to ensure that your writing is clear and concise and that you communicate clearly your key skills and competencies. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to tailor your CV or answers to the job you’re applying for – a generic CV won’t cut it
  • Have someone proofread your CV and cover letter before you click send
  • Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and that you have removed everything from your social media channels that you would not like a potential employer to see

Read more CV tips here →

 

5. Choose your employer

Keep an eye on our Job Bank for open positions →

There is no limit to how many employers you can apply to, just remember to tailor your CV to each company. When choosing the employer, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What size of a business do I want to work for? Am I better suited to a small Broker firm or a large multi-national?
  • Am I willing to relocate to another part of the country for my apprenticeship?
  • Do I want to work in life or general insurance?

All of these factors will play a part in your employer choice.

 

6. Prepare for interview

If an employer is impressed with your CV and cover letter and if you meet all entry requirements, you will then be called for interview. Whether you are just starting out and this is your first interview, or if you are changing careers and are an experienced interviewee, there are lots of techniques you can practice to ensure you impress on the day.

  • Research the company beforehand and be prepared to talk about what they do, their products and their values
  • Dress to impress

 

7. Receive a job offer and get started

If all goes well at the interview, you may then be offered a place on the Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship by your employer. The next programme officially begins in early September 2019.