The ‘Earn and Learn’ programme has 100 apprenticeship places available and is encouraging prospective employers and apprentices to get in touch now
The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship is open for registrations for its 2021 intake and is calling on any prospective employers and apprentices to get in touch now. The programme, which was first set up in 2016 was the country’s first degree level apprenticeship and has been hugely successful in bringing new talent into the sector, whilst also offering apprentices the unique chance to ‘earn and learn’.
The 2021 apprenticeship programme looks set to be the most significant to date – with employers viewing it as an effective and safe means of recruitment, especially in the current environment, while its popularity amongst prospective apprentices is growing steadily. The Insurance Institute and LIA say that while there are 100 places available, any apprentice or employer interested should get in touch soon to avoid disappointment.
The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship offers immense benefits for both insurance employers and apprentices alike. Employers have the chance to bring on board a highly ambitious and hardworking individual who is committed to the sector, and who they know will be at the forefront in terms of their professional training and development. While apprentices have the opportunity to gain real work experience, whilst earning a salary and working towards a third level qualification (BA Hons in Insurance Practice).
The programme is run in partnership with IT Sligo, with the academic element taking place entirely online, via distance learning (apprentices work full time for an insurance employer with one day per week devoted to online lectures). The remote learning element has been a critical aspect of the programme since the beginning, and as a result is unaffected by Covid-19 restrictions.
Commenting on the 2021 programme, Dermot Murray, CEO The Insurance Institute said, “We’re delighted to announce that the apprenticeship has 100 places available this year – the programme which started out as a way to modernise and future proof the insurance sector, has gone from strength to strength - it has lead to an influx of new ideas and talent into the industry and has provided apprentices with a completely unique approach to achieving a successful career, as well as a third level qualification.”
“Over the past five years we have seen 87 apprentices graduate from the programme – all of whom have proven themselves to be highly ambitious and dedicated individuals. Undertaking the programme is not for the faint hearted – apprentices work four days for an insurance employer and one day is devoted to their academic learning - working and studying means you need to really want it but everyone who has been through the apprenticeship knows it’s worth all the hard work.”
Mr Murray added, “Thankfully the programme has been largely unaffected by the pandemic, and for any employers or apprentices interested in this year’s programme, we want to reassure them that we, at the Institute, will be on hand to assist them throughout the entire process.”
Minister of State at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Niall Collins, TD who recently attended a photoshoot to mark the beginning of the 2021 programme said, “The success of The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship is testament to the ‘earn and learn’ model, which is so well suited to the needs and learning styles of many people, and their employers. The programme offers huge benefits for both employers and apprentices and I think it is a wonderful example of how effective apprenticeships can be if created and activated appropriately and with the right support and buy in from industry.”
Minister Collins added, “I know there has been significant interest in the programme in the last year, and that the challenges of COVID-19 have been handled very well, in particular the innovative use of remote learning that has always characterised the programme. This has ensured that the apprenticeship is well-positioned to thrive into the future.”
Joanne Keane, CEO LIA said, “Over the past five years the apprenticeship programme has been incredibly well received both by the industry and also by new entrants. The feedback we receive from all involved is hugely positive. Never before has a training programme (for the industry) managed to successfully marry professional education with the skills needed for the industry. The programme equips apprentices with the necessary hard and soft skills required for a career in insurance, and also ensures their learning is always applicable to their day to day work, as well as to trends that are coming down the line. The apprenticeship is ensuring the industry is prepared for the future, while at the same time offering the apprentices themselves a unique opportunity for an exciting and interesting career. We look forward to supporting this year’s incoming students as they go through the programme. ”
The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship was first launched in September 2016, and was Ireland's first, ‘earn and learn’ honours degree programme. The Government funded apprenticeship (students pay only €600 in registration fees annually) is run in partnership with IT Sligo and LIA. Apprentices complete the degree portion online through distance learning over three years. The minimum entry requirements include two honours in higher level subjects in the Leaving Cert and a pass in four additional subjects including English/Irish and Maths. Alternatively, if applicants are over 23, interviews or other selection tools may be used.
For more information on the programme please visit www.earnandlearn.ie